Throwing a loop to silence gene expression
Cells attach so-called ‘epigenetic’ signals to their genome to select which part of their genetic information is used. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now systematically investigated the interplay between components of an epigenetic network and developed a mathematical model that describes how it operates. The results can be used to predict how cellular gene expression programs respond to drug treatment or other perturbations of the cellular environment.
TGF-ß prevents self-reactive B cell activation
How silent genes are activated
One cancer – many tumors
In studies on prostate cancer, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) simultaneously investigated the genetic and epigenetic development of the tumors. They used a parallel approach to analyze both the genome and the methylation of the DNA in various tissue samples from a tumor and its metastases. Both processes equally reflect the complex composition of multiple different daughter clones in advanced tumors. As DNA methylation impacts the activity of genes, detecting diverging methylation patterns may help understand the origins of metastases and choose more specific treatment strategies.
Encyclopedia of stem cells – Identification of regulatory networks in hematopoietic stem cells and their immediate progeny
Scientists discover thymus stem cells
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have identified a common progenitor of cortical and medullary thymic epithelial cells
Enough is enough: How tissues regulate their growth
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that cells can use to control their growth. This mechanism plays a role in development, and its failure can result in cancer. The DKFZ researchers headed by Aurelio Teleman, jointly with colleagues in the group of Kent Duncan at Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital, have now published their results in Nature.
HFSP grant awarded to DKFZ junior researchers
The Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) has awarded a Young Investigator Grant to an international 4-member-team, including the DKFZ Junior Group Metabolism & Stem Cell Plasticity. The grant will support a collaborative project with 1.2 Million US Dollars over 3 years aiming at modeling the information flow between tissues during organismal metabolic adaptation and disease. The project was among 34 proposals selected out of 844 submitted applications (http://bit.ly/icCsdh).
Factors that shorten our life expectancy
People who refrain from consuming alcohol and cigarettes, who also eat very little red meat and sausage products, and who maintain a normal body weight live up to 17 years longer than those who combine these habits. This is the result of calculations performed by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), based on data from participants in the Heidelberg EPIC study. Smoking turns out to be the singlemost factor in reducing life expectancy. On average, men lose nine years and women seven years of life to cigarette smoking.
The Long and Winding Road to Gene Regulation
Small chemical modifications such as DNA methyl groups can tell the cell whether a given gene is expressed or not. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered how the methyl marks can regulate gene activity: They influence where the DNA wraps around its packaging proteins to form complexes called nucleosomes. The removal of the methyl groups makes these nucleosomes unstable, and previously inaccessible DNA regions are released for binding of enzymes that affect gene activity.