Teaching an old dog new tricks: An existing drug opens new possibilities for treating childhood leukemia

A new study has shown that the tumor-inhibiting gene TET2 is silenced in a large fraction of cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children. The scientists show that the gene can be reactivated by treatment with an existing drug, 5-azacytidine. The results suggest that 5-azacytidine may function as targeted therapy for ALL in children.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Researchers solve structure of BRCA2 protein complex important in DNA repair

The initials BRCA2 may be best known for a gene associated with many cases of breast cancer, and the protein encoded by the BRCA2 gene is critical to repairing breaks in DNA. The breakdown of this interaction is a hallmark of many cancers. Now scientists have determined the structure of a complex of two proteins — BRCA2 together with MEILB2 — that allows repairs to happen efficiently in cells undergoing cell-splitting, called meiosis. Their results have major implications for cancer and infertility.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Genetisches Programm schützt Nervenzellen vor Abbau

Studie der Universität Bonn findet in der Fruchtfliege Gene mit vermutlich ähnlicher Funktion bei Menschen

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Genaue Methode zur Bestimmung aktiver Gene

Biologie: Veröffentlichung in PLoS Genetics

Die gesamte DNA eines Organismus ist deutlich umfangreicher als das tatsächliche genutzte Genom. Ein Konsortium von deutschen und US-Forschenden unter Beteiligung der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (HHU) und des Max-Planck-Instituts für Pflanzenzüchtung Köln (MPIPZ) entwickelte eine Methode, die in einer einzigen Analyse alle Bereiche des aktiven Genoms bestimmen kann. Sie stellen ihre Ergebnisse anhand der Nutzpflanze Mais in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Zeitschrift PLoS Genetics vor.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

‘Frameshifting’ therapy for mast cell cancers reduces size, spread

A potential new treatment for mast cell cancers reduces the number of mast cells by ‘mutating’ the messenger RNA (mRNA) before it can deliver instructions for manufacturing the gene responsible for cell proliferation. The method, known as frameshifting, changes the pre-mRNA so that the mature mRNA is degraded and any protein produced from its instructions is altered and inert. In a mouse model, frameshifting directed at the c-KIT gene reduced mast cell tumor size and prevented infiltration into other organs.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Ovarian cancer: Potential therapeutic target identified

A gene called DOT1L appears to play a role in progression and severity of ovarian cancer, and inhibitors of the DOT1L enzyme may offer a new therapeutic approach for the disease, researchers say in a new study. The need is clear — despite decades of work to develop new treatment modalities, the five-year survival of patients with advanced ovarian cancer is between 10 and 30 percent.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Durch Gene von der Larve zum Juveniltier

Häutungsmoleküle helfen Käferschnecken bei der Metamorphose

Bei der Umwandlung von der Larve zum Jungtier, also während der Metamorphose, sind in den zu den Weichtieren (Mollusca) gehörenden Käferschnecken (Polyplacophora) Gene aktiv, welche sogenannte Häutungsmoleküle codieren. Das hat Forscherin Elisabeth Zieger von der Universität Wien in einer früheren Studie aufgezeigt. Nun hat ein Team von Wissenschafter*innen rund um Studienleiter Andreas Wanninger von der Universität Wien untersucht, in welchen Zellen diese Häutungsgene aktiv sind. Die Ergebnisse erscheinen in der Fachzeitschrift “Evolution”.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Atomic-level, 3-D structure of MUTYH protein opens small window into DNA repair mechanism

A research team has analyzed the three-dimensional structure of a protein that suppresses the development of colorectal polyposis, MUTYH, at the atomic level and clarified the repair mechanism for DNA mispairings. Since mutations in the MUTYH gene cause heritable colorectal polyposis, which leads to colorectal cancer, the researchers expect that this work will be useful for future research on heritable colorectal polyposis associated with MUTYH.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Gene activities of an oral microbe mapped

HIRI and JMU Würzburg create first RNA atlas of Fusobacterium nucleatum

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Potential role of ‘junk DNA’ sequence in aging, cancer

Researchers have recently identified a DNA region known as VNTR2-1 that appears to drive the activity of the telomerase gene, which has been shown to prevent aging in certain types of cells. Knowing how the telomerase gene is regulated and activated and why it is only active in certain cell types could someday be the key to understanding how humans age and how to stop the spread of cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Potential marker for success of immunotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer

Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers, and treatment options are extremely limited, especially for patients with oncogenic mutations in the KRAS gene. Some patients respond very well to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors while it is completely ineffective in others. A research group identified a potential marker for the success of immunotherapy in lung cancer patients and explained the underlying molecular processes.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Unraveling the mechanisms that create the individualized metabolism in leukemia

Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), an enzyme involved in gene expression, produces individualized metabolism depending on the type of acute myeloid leukemia cells. Cancer cells have a unique ability to metabolize substances differently from normal cells, and this ability is considered to be a promising therapeutic target. New findings may contribute to the safe and effective use of LSD1 inhibitors as potential anticancer agents, and to the development of highly specific treatments for various leukemia types.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Lübecker Genom-Forscher identifizieren neue Alzheimer-Biomarker-Gene

Spiegel von etablierten Alzheimer-Biomarkern im Nervenwasser werden durch neue Gene beeinflusst:
Unter Federführung der Lübecker Interdisziplinären Plattform für Genomanalytik (LIGA; Leitung: Prof. Dr. Lars Bertram) der Universität zu Lübeck hat ein Team internationaler Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler neue Erkenntnisse aus dem Bereich der Alz-heimer Biomarkerforschung gewonnen und im Fachmagazin „Alzheimer’s & Dementia“ hochrangig veröffentlicht.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Maternal diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may protect offspring from breast cancer, study suggests

Researchers noted a significant difference in mice from mothers that were fed a diet rich in canola oil, compared with mothers fed a diet rich in corn oil. A maternal Omega 3-rich diet affected genome-wide epigenetic landscape changes in offspring and potentially modulated gene expression patterns.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Leopard gecko skin tumors traced to cancer gene

In a rare gecko color variety known as Lemon Frost, scientists have traced an unusual coloring and tendency to form tumors to a gene linked to human melanoma.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Genetic study of liver cancer reveals new drug target

Drugs targeting the gene MAGEA3 may help block the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer and one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the country. That’s one conclusion of a new study analyzing the genetics of HCC tumors.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Boost for mouse genetic analysis

To understand what role an individual gene plays, biologists have, for 100 years, been using a trick of nature: While in principle, the genome in all cells of an organism is the same, mutations arise in individual cells. These mutations differentiate a cell from its neighbors, forming a ‘genetic mosaic.’ Now, researchers have advanced genetic mosaic analysis, making almost all genes in the mouse genome accessible to single-cell genetic mosaic analysis.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Flashmob im Zellkern

Der Zellkern ist weit mehr als eine Art Aufbewahrungs-Behälter für Chromosomen: In ihm sitzt auch die komplexe Maschinerie, die Abschriften der gerade benötigten Gene herstellt und in die Zelle entlässt. Manche der daran beteiligten Proteine sind nicht gleichmäßig im Kern verteilt, sondern sammeln sich an bestimmten Stellen. Eine Studie der Universitäten Würzburg, Heidelberg und Bonn mit Hilfe der Evotec SE am Standort Martinsried zeigt nun, wie diese „Flashmobs“ reguliert werden. Aus den Ergebnissen könnten langfristig auch neue Therapie-Ansätze der spinalen Muskelatrophie resultieren. Sie sind in der Zeitschrift Cell Reports erschienen.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Fortschritt bei der genetischen Analyse von Mäusen

Um zu verstehen, welche Rolle ein Gen in Entwicklung, Degeneration und Krankheit spielt, nutzen BiologInnen seit hundert Jahren einen Trick der Natur: Während das Genom in allen Zellen eines Organismus prinzipiell gleich ist, können in einzelnen Zellen Mutationen auftreten. Durch diese Mutationen unterscheidet sich eine Zelle von ihren Nachbarn, und der Organismus bildet ein „genetisches Mosaik”. Nun hat Simon Hippenmeyer, Professor am Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), die genetische Mosaikanalyse weiterentwickelt. Sie machen fast alle Gene im Mausgenom für die genetische Mosaikanalyse in einer Zelle zugänglich.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nature article: Researchers detect inflamed brain cells in patients with severe COVID

Many patients who have survived a severe COVID-19 infection suffer from neurological abnormalities, such as impaired speech, memory loss or depression. So far little is known about what impact the coronavirus has on the human brain. A team of researchers from Saarland University and Stanford University has discovered that in patients with severe COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can activate immune and barrier cells in the brain. The gene expression patterns found by the research team exhibit features similar to those found in individuals with cognitive disorders, schizophrenia and depression. The study has now been published in the world-renowned science journal ‘Nature’.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Hitzesommer überleben oder austrocknen? Gene für Dürreresistenz in Buchen identifiziert

Studie in hessischen Wäldern nach Trockenjahren: Forscher*innen identifizieren Gene für Dürreresistenz in Buchen – nicht jeder Baum hat das genetische Rüstzeug für einen Klimawandel

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Es braucht nicht viele Gene, um komplex zu sein

Forscher der Universität Regensburg und der Universität Münster weisen Kompartimente und ihre Funktion in den Zellen von Prokaryonten nach

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Cancer cells fight for their footing by using an aging gene

New results allow the development of novel therapies for hereditary forms of intestinal cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Targeted drug found effective in thwarting pancreatic tumors

Through a pre-clinical study, researchers identified a novel drug that effectively thwarts pancreatic tumors that are addicted to the cancer-causing mutant KRAS gene.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Pinpointing how cancer cells turn aggressive

As deadly as it is, cancer metastasis is a poorly understood process. A new study describes a cutting-edge tool for tracing the lineage and gene expression of thousands of individual metastatic cancer cells. Their findings open new angles for investigating the processes that drive metastasis.

Quelle: Sciencedaily