Enzyme key to 'sister act' that maintains genome stability

Jul 10, 2008

Keeping the genome stable is a "sister act" of matched chromatids – the pairs of the double helix DNA molecule that exist during the chromosome duplication in the S phase of the cell cycle.

Maintaining the chromatids in their sister pairs rests with Eco1, a kind of enzyme known as an acetyltransferase. Now researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, in a collaboration of two laboratories, have shown that Eco1 and its human homologue maintain sister chromatid cohesion and thus genome stability through a chemical process called acetylation that affects Smc3, one of the key components of the cohesion protein complex. A report on their work appears in the current online issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

This activity is critical to maintaining the stability of the cell's genome and its survival, said Dr. Jun Qin, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and molecular and cellular biology at BCM and a senior author of the report.

"If a cell lacks this acetyltransferase activity, it's dead," said Dr. Xuewen Pan, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and molecular and human genetics at BCM and also a senior author.

"This is critical for genome stability, cell growth and organism survival," said Qin.

"The collaboration in this work was important," he said. His laboratory carried out the work in human cells, and Pan's did the work in yeast.

"We pooled the resources of our two laboratories and took advantage of the power of the genetics in yeast and the power of proteomics and cell biology in the human. If a single labor had worked on this project, we would not have as complete a story," Qin said.

Source: Baylor College of Medicine

Explore further: Epigenetic driver of glioblastoma provides new therapeutic target

Related Stories

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution

14 hours ago

Mark Johnson, associate professor of biology, has joined a consortium of seven other researchers in four European countries to develop the fullest understanding yet of how fertilization evolved in flowering plants. The research, ...

Fuel and chemicals from steel plant exhaust gases

Jul 01, 2015

Carbon monoxide-rich exhaust gases from steel plants are only being reclaimed to a minor extent as power or heat. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new recycling process for this materially unused carbon resource: They ...

Single-cell technologies advance the value of genomics

Jun 24, 2015

Biologists are looking to extract as much information as possible from small amounts of valuable biological material, and to understand biological responses at higher levels of resolution. The Genome Analysis ...

Recommended for you

Extra DNA acts as a 'spare tire' for our genomes

Jul 06, 2015

Carrying around a spare tire is a good thing—you never know when you'll get a flat. Turns out we're all carrying around "spare tires" in our genomes, too. Today, in ACS Central Science, researchers report that an extra ...

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications

Jul 02, 2015

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can't help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.