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: China's reform of R&D budget management doesn't go far enough, research shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China's Alibaba plans IPO for week of September 8

2 hours ago

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering on the US stock market the week of September 8, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Tablet sales slow as PCs find footing

3 hours ago

Tablets won't eclipse personal computers as fast as once thought, according to studies by market tracker International Data Corporation (IDC).

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

3 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

Aug 29, 2014

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

User comments : 0