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  • japan prize | Newswire
    nearby genes has ignited the field of epigenetics a relatively new area of study which explores the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence The Japan Prize worth approximately half a million dollars is among the most prestigious prizes in science More Tags awards C David Allis chromatin epigenetics histones japan prize Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/japan-prize/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Influenza “histone mimic” suppresses antiviral response | Newswire
    histone code theory that describes the importance of histone tails in regulating a wide array of cellular functions By mimicking the histone H3 tail the NS1 tail gives the virus access to the core of gene regulating machinery says first author Ivan Marazzi a postdoctoral fellow in the Tarakhovsky lab Through this mimicry the virus targets a set of proteins in the nucleus of the infected cells and impairs the antiviral host cell response The influenza virus like all viruses is little more than coils of genetic material enclosed by a membrane New research shows how influenza s DNA packaging proteins mimic those of its host in order to gain access to critical gene regulating machinery Image from CDC Marazzi working with graduate student Jessica Ho discovered the ability of the NS1 protein to track and target a protein complex called PAF1C which has been previously studied extensively by Robert G Roeder s lab at Rockefeller Together with Roeder s lab the Tarakhovsky lab revealed the ability of NS1 to interfere with the activity of PAF1 complex This complex turned out to be essential for the expression of the genes that are responsible for antiviral response NS1 is hijacking PAF1C and using its similarity with the H3 tail to gain access to a position in the genome that helps the virus to block antiviral genes says Ho This finding extends the known ability of pathogens to reveal key regulatory processes and to use them for the pathogen s advantage The current study bears several major implications for influenza research and treatment The NS1 protein varies from strain to strain and the NS1 tail specifically appears to be one of the most diverse parts of the NS1 protein Some flu strains such as H1N1 which was responsible for the 2009 pandemic do not contain an NS1 tail at all Together with their collaborator prominent flu researcher Adolfo Garcia Sastre of Mount Sinai School of Medicine the Tarakhovsky lab plans to test if diversification of the NS1 tail helps the influenza virus to maintain a long term presence within human or animal populations If so it could explain how the influenza virus which has no history of integration into animal or human DNA has learned about the functional benefits of the histone tail Finally by identifying PAF1C as a NS1 target the researchers may have found a promising new target for attenuation of inflammatory responses In collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline previous efforts of the Tarakhovsky lab in this direction yielded a synthetic histone mimic called I BET By binding to BET proteins that control inflammatory gene expression I BET suppresses inflammation I BET and the related compound JQ1 which has been identified by Jay Bradner at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School are now considered a new generation of so called epigenetic drugs i e drugs that control DNA function without interfering with it directly The current discovery is proof and validation of the functional importance of histone mimicry Tarakhovsky

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2012/04/23/influenza-%e2%80%9chistone-mimic%e2%80%9d-suppresses-antiviral-response/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Alexander Tarakhovsky | Newswire
    body s normal antiviral response in order to slip by it undetected The results have major implications for our understanding of the biology of the seasonal influenza virus and suggest a possible target for a new class of antiviral and anti inflammatory drugs More Tags Alexander Tarakhovsky C David Allis epigenetics histone code histones mimicry Robert G Roeder January 8 2010 Science News Loss of epigenetic regulators causes mental retardation New findings published in recent issues of Neuron and Science indicate that malfunction of a protein complex that normally suppresses gene activation causes mental retardation in mice and humans and may even play a role in promoting susceptibility to drug addiction More Tags Alexander Tarakhovsky C David Allis Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Nathaniel Heintz Paul Greengard September 5 2007 Science News Core tenets of the histone code are universal Histones specialized proteins that package and control DNA rely on a code to regulate gene transcription Certain chemical modifications at histone tails act like a code that signals genes to turn on or off Rockefeller University scientists show that nonhistone proteins recognize features of this histone code and reveal an instance of histone mimicry More Tags Alexander Tarakhovsky histone

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/alexander-tarakhovsky/ (2016-02-13)
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  • mimicry | Newswire
    response in order to slip by it undetected The results have major implications for our understanding of the biology of the seasonal influenza virus and suggest a possible target for a new class of antiviral and anti inflammatory drugs More Tags Alexander Tarakhovsky C David Allis epigenetics histone code histones mimicry Robert G Roeder Search for Categories Science News Awards and Honors Campus News Grants Gifts Topics Video Archive 2015

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/mimicry/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Experiments decipher key piece of the ‘histone code’ in cell division | Newswire
    findings provide hard evidence for the histone code hypothesis advanced by Rockefeller s C David Allis and colleagues which suggests that combinations of histone modifications attract or remove specific proteins controlling the immediate environment of chromosomes in the cell The orchestration of the exact timing and localization of the vast array of molecules and processes involved in reproducing the chromosomes is one of the basic wonders of biology and is at the core of both healthy living and diseases such as cancer that arise when the process goes awry Funabiki postdoctoral associate Alex Kelly graduate student Cristina Ghenoiu and their colleagues focused on the addition of a phosphate group to histone H3 at the site theronine 3 H3T3 it was first identified in 1980 but its function has remained a mystery The researchers built on their previous work singling out the chromosomal passenger complex a group of proteins in the cell that includes the enzyme Aurora B This complex must be brought to chromosomes and activated to facilitate the assembly of cellular scaffolding called spindle microtubules which are required to separate chromosomes in a dividing cell In a series of new experiments they showed that another member of the complex Survivin it s highly similar to a class of proteins known to stem the process of programmed cell death or apoptosis recognizes the phosphate group at H3T3 and in turn activates Aurora B The researchers found that the phosphate group must be removed after the chromosomes are segregated so that the chromosomes can be properly repackaged to repeat the process over again and they showed that the enzyme Haspin plays a role in adding the phosphate group that Survivin recognizes and is necessary for the chain of events to come off smoothly Since both Survivin and Aurora B have been

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2010/08/15/experiments-decipher-key-piece-of-the-%e2%80%98histone-code%e2%80%99-in-cell-division/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology | Newswire
    More Tags C David Allis epigenetics Hironori Funabiki Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology December 8 2009 Science News New molecule identified in DNA damage response Evolution places the highest premium on reproduction natural selection s only standard for biological success In the case of replicating cells life spares no expense to ensure that the offspring is a faithful copy of the parent Researchers have identified a new player in

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/laboratory-of-chromosome-and-cell-biology/ (2016-02-13)
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  • New science of “epigenetics” advanced by findings reported in Molecular Cell | Newswire
    specific amino acid which is a building block of proteins Specifically this chemical modification occurs on the histone proteins the small proteins required for the compaction of DNA within the cell s nucleus In a research paper published in the December issue of Molecular Cell Allis and colleagues including first author Judd Rice Ph D show that two separate enzymes are responsible for attaching methyl groups to the amino acid lysine Importantly these enzymes silence gene activity in different parts of the cell and with different degrees of permanence Because these changes in gene activity take place away from DNA scientists refer to them as epigenetic There are certain conditions during which the cell will want a gene to be silenced permanently and other times when a gene will be expressed only when it is needed and then it will be switched off It may make sense that some enzymes have evolved to permanently silence genes and some enzymes have evolved to temporarily silence genes explains Allis who is the Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology at Rockefeller Allis and Rice focused on a lysine located at position 9 Lys9 in the amino acid sequence of the tail of histone H3 The nuclei of human and animal cells contain four histone proteins H2A H2B H3 and H4 each of which has a long flexible protein tail Allis studies the chemical modifications to amino acids on the tails Allis and other researchers have suspected that the lysines in the histone tails could be modified to carry up to three methyl groups but until now little evidence was available to support this theory In the Molecular Cell report Allis and Rice show that an enzyme called SUV39 is solely responsible for the state of trimethylation of Lys9 while a second enzyme G9a regulates whether Lys9 is mono or dimethylated We still don t understand the pathway of taking the cell from a monomethylated state to the trimethylated but we do know that the enzyme G9a stops after Lys9 becomes dimethylated Allis says And it looks like SUV39 by itself can take the cell to the trimethylated state Allis and Rice also found that trimethylated Lys9 is located in parts of the cell where gene activity is permanently silenced Mono and dimethylated Lys9 on the other hand are located in parts of the cell where gene activity may be silenced temporarily The researchers used a novel panel of highly specific antibodies that could distinguish if Lys9 was singly doubly or triply methylated Rice and Allis used these antibodies and a technique called immunofluorescence to visually identify the locations within the cell where mono di and trimethylated Lys9 resides These experiments pinpointed mono and dimethylated Lys9 in silenced regions of euchromatin and trimethylated Lys9 in pericentric heterochromatin Euchromatin refers to the genomic regions within a cell where gene activation or transcription typically occurs Pericentric heterochromatin refers to an area near the centromere the part on a chromosome

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2003/12/19/new-science-of-epigenetics-advanced-by-findings-reported-in-molecular-cell/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Facial motion activates a dedicated network within the brain, research shows | Newswire
    system reunites two individual streams of visual information face form and face motion as it recreates the social reality of a face as a macaque sees it Freiwald has been studying brain patches linked to facial recognition for over a decade and was a contributor to a recent report by the National Research Council that evaluated the science behind eyewitness identification In previous work with his colleague Doris Tsao now at the California Institute of Technology he found that a network of interconnected brain patches found along a deep groove in the sides of the macaque brain form a specialized system for processing faces just as had been shown in an analogous part of the human brain While the system for processing still faces appears similar between humans and macaques studies of facial motion turned up inconsistent results between the species Human research said yes face patches respond specifically to facial motion with one patch even reacting more strongly to moving faces than to still ones However work with macaques suggested no this area of the brain seems to respond to facial motion just because it is motion not because faces are involved Given that humans and macaques are close relatives in evolutionary terms this discrepancy perplexed Freiwald and Fisher Brain anatomy makes this puzzle difficult to solve because the patches of interest are located in a part of the macaque brain the superior temporal sulcus that also contains areas that respond to motion in general This creates a challenge for researchers trying to interpret what is going on in this part of a macaque brain when it sees a moving face To tease out the distinction between a response to general motion and one specific to faces Fisher used high resolution scans known as functional magnetic resonance imaging to record changes in blood flow in and around the superior temporal sulcus He showed the macaques a variety of movies of fellow macaques making expressions aggressively baring their impressive canine teeth pleasantly smacking their lips and making faces as recognizable to macaques as a smile and a grimace would be to a human All the while the macaque s head moves as if turning to address others around it The researchers made these movies themselves by filming macaques in front of a blue screen For comparison Fisher also showed the macaques images of static faces as well as moving and static objects such as toys All five of the previously known facial patches responded preferentially to moving faces over moving objects suggesting that macaques have neural machinery dedicated to processing both faces and the movement associated with them The scans also revealed a surprise A sixth previously unknown face patch which the scientists refer to as the middle dorsal patch The middle dorsal patch turned up sporadically in response to static faces but as soon as we started showing moving faces it reliably appeared in each brain hemisphere for every macaque Fisher said A similar movement preferring patch has been

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2015/01/08/facial-motion-activates-a-dedicated-network-within-the-brain-research-shows/ (2016-02-13)
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