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    Home > Biochemistry News > Biotechnology News > Molecular Cell: Special microscope helps understand new forces shaping the genome

    Molecular Cell: Special microscope helps understand new forces shaping the genome

    • Last Update: 2021-07-27
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Advances in microscopy technology allowed researchers to depict the circular structure of DNA strands for the first time
    .
    These images reveal how the human genome organizes itself in three dimensions at a higher resolution than before

    .

    A new study published in the journal Molecular Cell also reveals that the process by which DNA is copied into RNA—transcription—indirectly shapes the structure of the genome
    .
    An international team led by Pia Cosma of the Barcelona Center for Genome Regulation (CRG) and Melike Lakadamyali of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the force generated by transcription moves on the DNA strands, like ripples in water

    .

    This force is called "supercoiling," and it causes a structural protein called cohesive protein to "surf" on the DNA strand, changing the structure of the scaffold and changing the overall shape of the genome
    .
    Although it is well known that genome organization regulates gene transcription, this is the first time that researchers have discovered that transcription in turn affects genome organization through supercoiling

    .

    According to the researchers, the discovery of this new force may have future implications for understanding genetic diseases, such as Cornelia De Lange syndrome, which is caused by mutations in genes encoding cohesive proteins or cohesive protein regulators.

    .
    These findings may also be related to developmental disorders related to chromatin folding, and also open up new avenues for the study of genomic fragility and cancer development

    .

    Researchers have studied the biological mechanism that can compress two meters of DNA into the small space of each human cell
    .
    In this concentrated state, DNA (also called chromatin) contains many loops that connect together different regions of the genome that are usually far apart

    .
    The resulting physical distance is very important for transcribing DNA into RNA, making proteins, and making chromatin circularization a basic biological mechanism for human health and disease

    .

    According to CRG staff and first author Vicky Neguembor, “The chromatin loop enables individual cells to turn on and off different information, which is why neurons or muscle cells with the same genomic information still behave so differently
    .
    ” The ring is also one of the ways the genome is compressed to fit the nucleus

    .
    "

    "Our discovery is important because it shows that the biological process of transcription plays an additional role in addition to the basic task of creating RNA that is ultimately converted into protein
    .
    Transcription indirectly compresses the genome in an effective way.
    And help different regions of the genome communicate with each other

    .
    "

    Previous techniques used to study this process can predict the location of the loops, but not their actual shape or how they look inside the cell
    .
    In order to improve the image resolution, the researchers used a special microscope that uses a high-power laser to track the flicker of fluorescent molecules under specific chemical conditions

    .
    This technology provides ten times higher resolution than traditional microscopes, and combined with advanced imaging analysis techniques, researchers are able to identify chromatin loops, as well as the internal polymer that holds the structure together like a paper clip, in an intact cell

    .

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