NUS scientists discover a new pathway essential for blood formation

January 28, 2021

Blood is vital to life, and a healthy body replenishes worn-out blood cells with new ones throughout one's lifetime. If something goes wrong with this process, serious illness will result.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have now discovered a mechanism controlling the replenishment of blood cells, which could have relevance for new treatments for blood cancers and other blood-related diseases.

The international research team, helmed by Dr Akihiko Numata while he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Daniel Tenen of the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS, focused their investigations on a protein called Tip60, which catalyzes important biological processes in many living organisms. In particular, Tip60 controls hematopoietic stem cells, the source of new blood cells.

In a 10-year-long study, the scientists developed sophisticated molecular tools and experiments to understand the role Tip60 plays in hematopoietic stem cells. They knocked out the protein by modifying its genetic code, thereby deleting certain parts of the protein and preventing it from binding to other biological molecules. The scientists then compared the malfunctioning Tip60 with the normal version.

"We discovered that Tip60 plays a crucial role, activating genes that are in turn responsible for maintaining the hematopoietic stem cells and their DNA. In fact, when completely deprived of Tip60, many of the cells suffered 'catastrophic' DNA damage and died. On the other hand, some of the genes that Tip60 affects can lead to leukemia, and understanding this pathway may lead to novel therapeutic approaches," explained Prof Tenen.
-end-
The team's findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal Blood in October 2020.

National University of Singapore

Related DNA Articles from Brightsurf:

A new twist on DNA origami
A team* of scientists from ASU and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) led by Hao Yan, ASU's Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics (including information storage and encryption) as well as synthetic biology.

Solving a DNA mystery
''A watched pot never boils,'' as the saying goes, but that was not the case for UC Santa Barbara researchers watching a ''pot'' of liquids formed from DNA.

Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing
When you don't understand how things work, it's not unusual to think of them as just plain old junk.

Designing DNA from scratch: Engineering the functions of micrometer-sized DNA droplets
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have constructed ''DNA droplets'' comprising designed DNA nanostructures.

Does DNA in the water tell us how many fish are there?
Researchers have developed a new non-invasive method to count individual fish by measuring the concentration of environmental DNA in the water, which could be applied for quantitative monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.

Zigzag DNA
How the cell organizes DNA into tightly packed chromosomes. Nature publication by Delft University of Technology and EMBL Heidelberg.

Scientists now know what DNA's chaperone looks like
Researchers have discovered the structure of the FACT protein -- a mysterious protein central to the functioning of DNA.

DNA is like everything else: it's not what you have, but how you use it
A new paradigm for reading out genetic information in DNA is described by Dr.

A new spin on DNA
For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines.

From face to DNA: New method aims to improve match between DNA sample and face database
Predicting what someone's face looks like based on a DNA sample remains a hard nut to crack for science.

Read More: DNA News and DNA Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.