UCR chemist part of team identifying new areas of gene regulation

May 06, 2005

Researcher Kangling Zhang at the University of California, Riverside is part of a team that has discovered a new way that yeast governs genetic expression and repression, a finding that could be repeated in cells of other organisms.

Zhang, an academic coordinator at the Mass Spectrometry Facility of the Department of Chemistry at UCR, worked with Feng Xu and Michael Grunstein of the Department of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on a paper titled Acetylation in Histone H3 Globular Domain Regulates Gene Expression in Yeast, which was published today in the journal Cell.

The paper focuses on observations of histones, the proteins that regulate genetic expression and form the major supporting structures housing the cell's DNA. Histones interacting with each other form a 'spool' around which DNA is wrapped in the cell. Grunstein, one of the scientists in the current team, discovered in 1991 that sites of histone acetylation, a modification of the protein, play a fundamental role in the regulation of gene activation and repression.

The key findings of the current paper were the discovery of this acetylation at the core of the histone, rather than at the proteins' ends, which are where most gene regulation is thought to take place. The team used mass spectrometry to show that acetylation at the core of the histone is associated with gene activation by attracting the protein string known as the SWI/SNI chromatin remodeling complex to the location of acetylation.

"In this paper, we used mass spectrometry to identify a novel acetylation site at the lysine 56 of yeast histone H3," said Zhang, referring to the previously unknown location of a chemical opening to allow genetic transfers to occur.

"We found acetylation at this site near the entry-exit points of the DNA superhelix as it wraps around the nucleosome is required for recruiting the nucleosome remodeling complex SWI/SNF and so regulates gene activity," he said.

"We show for the first time that a modification of a histone at the core of the protein, not the end, can regulate genes," Grunstein added.
-end-
The mass spectrometry facility at the UCR's Department of Chemistry and in the new Physical Sciences building provides super-high sensitivity for research in protein functions and in metabolic profiles of cells. The facility provides service and collaboration not limited to, protein separation, protein identification, sequencing, protein expression level quantification, as well as small molecule structural determination and metabolite identification.

University of California - Riverside

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.