Engineering genome shape in nucleus could influence gene activity
Najeeb Marc Tarazi, Adrian Sanborn, E.L. Aiden
By tweaking parts of the genome, scientists have changed how DNA crams itself into a cell’s nucleus. The 3-D shape of DNA’s packaging is called the nucleome, and the structure has big implications for how genes work (SN: 9/5/15, p. 18). By changing the shape of looping DNA with a little bit of genome pruning, scientists have a new way to influence gene behavior.
In earlier work, Erez Lieberman Aiden of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and colleagues figured out that a specific stretch of DNA acts as a stop sign that sits at the ends of the loops DNA forms as it folds. Now, by changing those signals, the researchers could move, destroy and create loops, the team reports online the week of October 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.