Oncology & Cancer

Gene-controlling mechanisms play key role in cancer progression

As cancer cells evolve, many of their genes become overactive while others are turned down. These genetic changes can help tumors grow out of control and become more aggressive, adapt to changing conditions, and eventually ...

Medical research

Scientists find a simpler way to make sensory hearing cells

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce ...

Oncology & Cancer

A good vitamin D status can protect against cancer

A good vitamin D status is beneficial both in cancer prevention and in the prognosis of several cancers, according to a new research review. The anti-cancer effects of vitamin D are especially pronounced in the prevention ...

Oncology & Cancer

New treatment target verification for myelodysplastic syndrome

A research group from Kumamoto University, Japan, analyzed the pathophysiology of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood cancer that presents often in the elderly, and found the presence of the transcription factor RUNX3, ...

Medical research

'Terminator' protein halts cancer-causing cellular processes

Essential processes in mammalian cells are controlled by proteins called transcription factors. For example, the transcription factor HIF-1 is triggered by a low-oxygen situation to cause the cell to adapt to decreased oxygen.

Oncology & Cancer

Pregnancy reprograms breast cells, reducing cancer risk

An early age of pregnancy (25 years and younger) is known to reduce the overall risk of breast cancer by over 30%. CSHL Assistant Professor Camila dos Santos spent several years teasing out the molecular details behind the ...

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Transcription factor

In the field of molecular biology, a transcription factor (sometimes called a sequence-specific DNA binding factor) is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences and thereby controls the transfer (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to mRNA. Transcription factors perform this function alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme which performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes.

A defining feature of transcription factors is that they contain one or more DNA binding domains (DBDs) which attach to specific sequences of DNA adjacent to the genes that they regulate. Additional proteins such as coactivators, chromatin remodelers, histone acetylases, deacetylases, kinases, and methylases, while also playing crucial roles in gene regulation, lack DNA binding domains, and therefore are not classified as transcription factors.

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