Structure relevant to cell growth

Oct 22, 2005

Utah researchers found a special type of molecular structure that helps keep genes properly turned off until the structure is ejected.

In all organisms, the genome is split into chromosomes -- compressed long strands of DNA, which are subdivided into functional DNA segments called genes. Genes function as the blueprints for building particular pieces of cellular machinery.

However, different types of cells each require different types of cellular machinery, and must produce that machinery according to a biological timetable. A central issue in molecular biology is finding out how a cell regulates which genes are on, or active, and which genes are off, or repressed.

This topic has direct relevance to human disease, as improper activation or repression of genes that regulate cellular growth is a common feature of cancer cells.

"We must understand how genes are activated or repressed in normal cells in order to understand how this process is misregulated in cancer cells," says lead researcher Brad Cairns, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

The findings are reported in journal Cell.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Moral victories' might spare you from losing again

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New discovery in living cell signaling

Jul 03, 2014

A breakthrough discovery into how living cells process and respond to chemical information could help advance the development of treatments for a large number of cancers and other cellular disorders that ...

Recommended for you

How to win a Tour de France sprint

4 hours ago

The final dash to the line in a Tour de France sprint finish may appear to the bystander to be a mess of bodies trying to cram into the width of a road, but there is a high degree of strategy involved. It ...

Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

8 hours ago

Scientists said Tuesday they hope that radar technology will help them find a century-old Aboriginal burial ground on an Australian island, bringing some closure to the local indigenous population.

'Moral victories' might spare you from losing again

18 hours ago

It's human nature to hate losing. Unfortunately, it's also human nature to overreact to a loss, potentially abandoning a solid strategy and thus increasing your chances of losing the next time around.

User comments : 0