Controlled Gene Expressions Can Cure Many Diseases

by Medindia Content Team on  August 1, 2005 at 4:46 PM General Health News
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Controlled Gene Expressions Can Cure Many Diseases
Researchers had found a new technique to control genetic expressions by silencing some expressions of the gene. This technique is all set to cure many diseases and health conditions.
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Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center had developed this new approach that could theoretically produce a drug for the treatment or cure of almost any disease

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In two papers appearing in the online edition of the journal Nature Chemical Biology, Dr. Corey and his colleagues describe how they efficiently shut down gene expression in cultured cells by blocking the ability of chromosomal DNA to be copied into RNA and made into proteins. The studies are the most definitive to date showing that chromosomal DNA is accessible to and can be controlled by synthetic and natural molecules.

The information in a gene is not directly converted into proteins, but first is copied by special enzymes into many copies of messenger RNA, which then move out of the nucleus and into the body of the cell, where they go on to create a protein.

Current techniques for turning genes on or off focus on controlling the messenger RNA once it's already produced. But blocking all the copies of messenger RNA before they can make a protein within a cell is akin to using a bucket to catch all the streams of water coming out of a yard sprinkler before they can hit the ground.

The researchers targeted chromosomal DNA in two ways. First, they developed a synthetic molecule called a peptide nucleic acid, or PNA, which physically binds to DNA and blocks enzymes from copying, or transcribing, the DNA into messenger RNA. More importantly, the researchers also employed RNA itself as a silencing agent.

The researchers designed their RNA to match up with and target specific genes. So far, the researchers have inhibited the expression of nine different genes in cancer cell cultures.

Source: Newswise
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