The importance of mixed motifs

Local modifications in histone proteins alter DNA packing density in the cell nucleus to regulate gene activity. They also form the basis of a code in which the significance of a given pattern or motif depends on its broader ...

Scientists take totally tubular journey through brain cells

In a new study, scientists at the National Institutes of Health took a molecular-level journey into microtubules, the hollow cylinders inside brain cells that act as skeletons and internal highways. They watched how a protein ...

Unique change in protein structure guides production of RNA from DNA

One of biology's most fundamental processes is something called transcription. It is just one step of many required to build proteins—and without it life would not exist. However, many aspects of transcription remain shrouded ...

Enhancer RNAs may open new avenues for gene therapy

A study investigating the function of the recently discovered enhancer RNA molecules may open new avenues for gene therapy. According to the study researchers, altering the production and function of these molecules could ...

Regulating hematopoietic differentiation

Blood cells originate from a small pool of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through a complex process of differentiation steps that are tightly regulated at the transcriptional level. Dissecting the mechanisms underlying this ...

IKK may act as both inhibitor and promoter of Huntington's disease

The kinase IKK phosphorylates the protein mutated in Huntington's disease to promote its removal and neuron survival, but IKK may be a double-edged sword that increases neurotoxicity in later stages of the disease. The study, ...

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Acetylation

Acetylation (or in IUPAC nomenclature ethanoylation) describes a reaction that introduces an acetyl functional group into a chemical compound. (Deacetylation is the removal of the acetyl group.)

Specifically, acetylation refers to that process of introducing an acetyl group (resulting in an acetoxy group) into a compound, to be specific, the substitution of an acetyl group for an active hydrogen atom. A reaction involving the replacement of the hydrogen atom of a hydroxyl group with an acetyl group (CH3 CO) yields a specific ester, the acetate. Acetic anhydride is commonly used as an acetylating agent reacting with free hydroxyl groups. For example, it is used in the synthesis of aspirin and heroin.

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