The results obtained will help determine the causes of certain diseases.
Molecular biologists from the Gladstone Institute in the United States revealed the mechanism of DNA folding in a compact superstructure structure, which has long remained unknown. This will help to understand how different proteins regulate the activity of genes, allowing the cells to perform their functions and develop. About it reported in a press release published on the website Phys.org.
During the folding of chromosomes the formation of topologically associated domains (TAD) — DNA, in which genes interact with each other more often than with other sites.
The researchers found that one of the main roles in the compaction of genetic material plays a protein CTCF. Its function was able to determine by removing a protein from cells of experimental animals. In the result of genes and regulatory DNA sites within the same TAD were more likely to communicate with other domains. However, this had little effect on the interaction between DNA elements within domains.
Scientists have also considered the compartmentalization of DNA synthesis in which inside the cell nucleus are separated from active genes inactive. It was believed that the boundaries of the TAD are involved in this process, however, the destruction of CTCF in any way is not affected, which indicates the presence of an as yet unknown mechanism.
According to the researchers, the findings will help determine the causes of certain diseases, including cancer and birth defects.
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