‘Acidic patch’ regulates access to genetic information

Histone image

By Pooja Makhijani for the Department of Chemistry Chromatin remodelers — protein machines that pack and unpack chromatin, the tightly wound DNA-protein complex in cell nuclei — are essential and powerful regulators for critical cellular processes, such as replication, recombination and gene transcription and repression. In a new study published Aug. 2 in the journal Nature, … Continue reading ‘Acidic patch’ regulates access to genetic information

Study reveals mechanism behind enzyme that tags unneeded DNA (Nature Chem. Bio.)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry Researchers have discovered the two-step process that activates an essential human enzyme, called Suv39h1, which is responsible for organizing large portions of the DNA found in every living cell. For any particular cell, such as a skin or brain cell, much of this genetic information is extraneous and must … Continue reading Study reveals mechanism behind enzyme that tags unneeded DNA (Nature Chem. Bio.)

Decoding the Cell’s Genetic Filing System (Nature Chemistry)

By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry A fully extended strand of human DNA measures about five feet in length. Yet it occupies a space just one-tenth of a cell by wrapping itself around histones—spool-like proteins—to form a dense hub of information called chromatin. Access to these meticulously packed genes is regulated by post-translational modifications, chemical … Continue reading Decoding the Cell’s Genetic Filing System (Nature Chemistry)