Health and Medicine

Novel ‘Mark’ Found in Cell Nucleus of Humans

cell nucleous

A group of Japanese researchers have confirmed the existence of a protein alteration which constitutes a novel mark in the cell nucleus of humans.

The alteration, Histone H4 lysine 20 acetylation (H4K20ac), was first observed in the cell of plants and it has been indirectly established to also occur in the cells of mammals. According to the study, H4K20ac plays a role in gene repression. The discovery of H4K20ac may necessitate additional research into the process through which disease advances.

It has been understood recently that factors external to the genetic sequence i.e. epigenetic factors play a huge role in the advancement of several diseases. Histone, which is a DNA-consisting constituent of chromatin, is responsible for the reception of post-translational alteration required for modifying a protein’s role as an epigenetic factor. Histone acetylation alterations have been agreed to be involved only at the point when the activation of genes is triggered.

histone acetylation
It was determined that histone acetylation modifications are involved only when gene activation in “switch on mode”. (Image credits: Osaka University)

The Japanese research team from the University of Osaka produced antibodies to counter H4K20ac. Despite the enrichment of previously recognized acetylation around promoters of greatly exhibited genes, this group discovered; through the utilization of elite sequencing, supercomputers and a chromatin immunoprecipitation technique, that H4K20ac, a novel kind of histone alteration, was enriched by genes that were exhibited to a lesser degree.

It is anticipated that the application of H4K20ac, a novel kind of histone alteration discovered by a team of Japanese researchers, will aid in the understanding and clarification of the workings of several diseases such as cancer, cardiomegaly,  diabetes and various kidney conditions.

The full study was published in Scientific Reports journal.