New role assigned to a human protein in transcription and genome stability

June 04, 2020

Transcription of genetic information is a fundamental process for life. If it does not work correctly, the consequences for the organism range from lethality to defects during development, genetic diseases, insufficient response to infections and stresses or propensity to develop cancer, given its pleiotropic effect. For this reason, it is important to know in depth the process by which this "DNA copy" is obtained and what elements are involved.

Along these lines, experts from the University of Seville and the Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Cabimer), in collaboration with the research group of Professor Patrick Sung from Yale University (USA), have published a new research article in which they show for the first time, the crucial role that the protein UAP56 / DDX39B plays for a correct transcription of the genetic material and the integrity of the genome.

"DNA-RNA hybrids, or R loops, are structures that generate genomic instability, a common feature of tumor cells. In this article we have discovered that the human protein UAP56 / DDX39B has a key role in the elimination of DNA-RNA hybrids that are accidentally generated during transcription, guaranteeing the integrity of the genome, as well as a correct gene expression", explains Andrés Aguilera, professor at the University of Seville and director of Cabimer.

UAP56 / DDX39B is a protein found in the nucleus of mammalian cells. It is conserved in all eukaryotes and plays an essential role in the transcription and processing of RNAs. Organisms cannot live without this protein, its inactivation produces defects in the expression of genes and in the stability of genomes, which is why it is important to know its functions.

On the other hand, unscheduled R loops are DNA-RNA hybrids that are accidentally generated between the nascent RNA and its template DNA during transcription. They form spontaneously, thanks to the pairing capacity of the nucleic acid chains, and for this reason cells have developed machineries to prevent and eliminate R loops, thus avoiding their negative consequences.

This work is part of the PhD thesis of Dr. Carmen Pérez Calero, defended in February 2020 at the University of Seville, and is part of the ERC Advanced research project of the European Research Council obtained in 2015, funded of 2.35 million euros.
-end-


University of Seville

Related Genome Articles from Brightsurf:

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Breakthrough in genome visualization
Kadir Dede and Dr. Enno Ohlebusch at Ulm University in Germany have devised a method for constructing pan-genome subgraphs at different granularities without having to wait hours and days on end for the software to process the entire genome.

Sturgeon genome sequenced
Sturgeons lived on earth already 300 million years ago and yet their external appearance seems to have undergone very little change.

A sea monster's genome
The giant squid is an elusive giant, but its secrets are about to be revealed.

Deciphering the walnut genome
New research could provide a major boost to the state's growing $1.6 billion walnut industry by making it easier to breed walnut trees better equipped to combat the soil-borne pathogens that now plague many of California's 4,800 growers.

Illuminating the genome
Development of a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes.

A genome under influence
References form the basis of our comprehension of the world: they enable us to measure the height of our children or the efficiency of a drug.

How a virus destabilizes the genome
New insights into how Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) induces genome instability and promotes cell proliferation could lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies for KSHV-associated cancers, according to a study published Sept.

Better genome editing
Reich Group researchers develop a more efficient and precise method of in-cell genome editing.

Unlocking the genome
A team led by Prof. Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovers how access to relevant DNA regions is orchestrated in epithelial cells.

Read More: Genome News and Genome 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.