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We had not yet discussed in this section an article that brings up the inherent complexity of the phenomena of embryonic development. By definition, these processes and the formation of organs in many different and specialized cell groups involve the establishment of mechanisms from the linearity of DNA are able to construct a complex three dimensional arrangement in space and time.
Such work represents a milestone in understanding basic biological processes, in many cases shared by the vast majority of living beings, and thus are the true touchstones in the evolution of complex multicellular organisms. Read the rest of this entry »
It has been almost six years since the publication of the reference sequence of the human genome. This enormous list of nucleotides, which should explain all human nature, it was assumed that varied only 0.1% between two individuals. However, this analysis focused on the SNP nucleotide variation of chromosomes and did not take into account the regions, or expansion deletion could not align properly with the tools then available. Read the rest of this entry »
Liver regeneration is a process still unknown at the molecular level. In liver regeneration stem cells do not participate, but that the hepatocytes of this tissue are specialized to regain their ability to divide and generate new liver cells. To coordinate this mechanism requires a regulatory system required to build an energy reservoir in the form of lipid and to split the genetic machinery in motion. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cajal-Retzius cells, discovered by Ramon y Cajal in the late nineteenth century, play a critical role in the development of the cerebral cortex and the subsequent coordination of neuronal activity. To get to occupy that position in the adult brain, these cells must migrate in a coordinated manner during embryogenesis of the brain from his birthplace to the surface of the cerebral cortex. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite the involvement of genes of mitochondrial DNA in the respiratory processes of the cell, so far had not detected any influence of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in principle neutral, in respiratory efficiency of the cell, although it had been linked to learning ability or the penetrance of different diseases. In a recent issue of Nature Genetics, the research group GENOXPHOS of the University of Zaragoza, suggests a molecular explanation to substantiate these variations are not understood so far. Read the rest of this entry »
Exposure of cells to stress results in the rapid activation of a highly conserved family of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), known as stress-activated protein kinases (SAPK). The activation of these MAPK in response to stress, both p38 in mammals, like Hog1 in yeast, is essential for generating adaptive responses necessary for cell survival. One of the most relevant functions of the yeast Hog1MAPK is to coordinate the transcriptional program required for cell survival upon osmotic stress. Previously, researchers at the University Pompeu Fabra had described different mechanisms regulated by the Hog1MAPK during the process of transcription initiation by osmotic stress (eg, modification of transcription factors and recruitment of specific promoters of the RNA polymerase complex II and Rpd3 histone deacetylase complex, Sin3). However, work recently published in the journal Molecular Cell, these researchers, in collaboration with a team of Harvard University show that the Hog1MAPK also controls the transcriptional elongation process of stress response genes. Read the rest of this entry »
The research team of the Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa, led by Federico Mayor Menéndez, has identified a new target protein ligase Mdm2: a proto-oncogene amplified in 5-10% of human tumors. The results of the study, collected in EMBO show that the growth factor IGF-1, potent inducer of cell survival and proliferation, stabilizes in breast epithelial cells to protein kinase GRK2. This effect depends on the activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and the presence of Mdm2, suggesting that stimulation of Akt “reset” the map of Mdm2 targets to run the program for survival, facilitating the effective destruction proapoptotic factors such as p53 and preventing other proteins, now identified GRK2. Read the rest of this entry »
Questions about the origin and definition of life can be answered from different perspectives: thermodynamics, physiological, metabolic, biochemical or genetic. The latter focuses on the characterization of information flows and nucleic acids and proteins that carry. Efforts to consolidate these perspectives lead to a definition derived from the so-called cell theory, based on three basic elements: the presence of a semipermeable boundary (cell membrane), a unit of energy production and processing systems and management information (the proteome and the genome). These assumptions define minimum cellular organism as simple as possible. But we shall see, this is just theory. The plasticity of nature and the potential inherent in the evolution have led to bridge the world of living beings who are in a real interface, which meet some of these requirements, but lack other to survive and prosper independently. Read the rest of this entry »
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin and telomeres have an important effect in regulating how and when our genes are expressed. Previous studies have shown that telomere shortening occurs in pathological situations such as cancer and the aging process. However, until now little was known about the overall impact of these defects and what their mechanisms of action. Read the rest of this entry »
The protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are transcribed by the activity of RNA polymerase II. This transcript has three distinct phases, the third of which is the elongation. In the process of elongation by RNA polymerase II is linked to mRNA processing and release of protein-mRNA complex into the cytoplasm. Many protein factors cooperate with RNA polymerase II in the assembly of all this machinery of transcription and elongation.
Sebastian Chavez’s team at the University of Seville, has specialized in the development of tools for in vivo studies of this mechanism and the genetic analysis of these elements as a strategy to discern the functional relationships between them. Result of this work is the study discussed here, presented in Molecular and Cell Biology, and has helped to clarify some aspects of chromatin organization and the transcribed region-dependent role of these factors (the FACT complex).
Apparently derived from recent results, the FACT complex stimulates elongation by interacting with nucleosomes and the polymerase. However, the requirement of FACT is not equally necessary for all genes. For example, inactivation of FACT subunits, Spt16 and affects the transcription of genes that have positioned nucleosomes in transcribed regions (GAL1, PHO5), whereas no influence so evident in genes with a random nucleosome structure. The findings of this study indicate that the requirement for FACT during transcription depends on the organization of chromatin in the 5 ‘end of the region being transcribed.