Chromatin structure and function news

<p>Tip of a Drosophila testis. In red, BigH1 expressed in germ stem cells and spermatocytes. In blue, the cell nuclei. Image: Albert Carbonell, IRB Barcelona.</p>
13 Dec 2017

Researchers at IRB Barcelona unravel the role of the histone BigH1 in the development of male sex cells from stem cells.

The study, which was performed in Drosophila melanogaster, paves the way to a greater understanding of male infertility.

Published in Cell Reports, the work sheds light on the mechanisms through which histones regulate how stem cells give rise to differentiated cells.

<p>Drosophila polytene chromosome. In yellow, the chromocenter region where heterochromatin is accumulated. Image: Jordi Bernués, IRB Barcelona.</p>
21 Aug 2017

Several media, including Quo Magazine, have echoed the research headed by Ferran Azorín, CSIC research professor and group leader of the Chromatin Structure and Function laboratory at IRB Barcelona. The study reveals why histone 1 is a major protection factor against genomic instability and a vital protein for the organism.

Published in Nature Communications, this work explains for the first time that the suppression of histone 1 causes cell damage and genomic instability (DNA damage).

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<p>Drosophila polytene chromosome. In yellow, the chromocenter region where heterochromatin is accumulated. Image: Jordi Bernués, IRB Barcelona.</p>
16 Aug 2017

Genomic instability is the main risk factor for tumour development in humans. Therefore understanding its origin and exploring therapeutic targets is paramount.

Histone 1 silences a region of the genome that causes irreparable DNA damage when translated and is lethal for the organism.

<p>Image: HealthDay.</p>
18 May 2017

The American producer of health content HealthDay reports on the research on risk of obesity led by Ujue Fresan, a PhD student in the Chromatin Structure and Function Lab at IRB Barcelona.

Published in the journal Nutrients, the study found that "drinking a glass of water instead of a beer every day reduced the risk of obesity by 20 percent” and that “Switching one sugar-sweetened soft drink for water every day was associated with a 15 percent lower risk of developing obesity". 

The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity, held on May in Porto, Portugal.

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4 May 2015

Various media have published the discovery made by the team led by Ferran Azorín, group leader at IRB Barcelona and CSIC research professor, and recently published in the journal Nature Communications. This laboratory has found that the dDsk2 protein, in addition to degrading proteins, also plays a key role in regulating gene expression. Ferran Azorín’s group will start a study on the relationship between dDsk2 mutations and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

<p>Swiss researcher Roman Kessler is co-author of the study published today in Nature Communications (Photo:Battista/Minocri, IRB Barcelona)</p>
28 Apr 2015

A study done on fruit flies and published in Nature Communications reveals that the protein dDsk2, in addition to degrading proteins, also plays a key role in regulating gene expression.

This protein is also present in humans and is known to be mutated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. But the mechanism by which these mutations contribute to the development of disease remains unclear.

IRB Barcelona is to start a study to examine the relationship between dDsk2 mutations and neurodegenerative diseases.

19 Feb 2015

“El Mundo” has produced an article to mark the publication of 24 papers on epigenetics in journals belonging to the Nature group. These papers are the result of the endeavours of hundreds of scientists participating in the Epigenomics Mapping Programme, launched by the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008, and its European equivalent project, called Blueprint Epigenome. The article includes statements by Ferran Azorín, group leader of the Chromatin Structure and Function Laboratory at IRB Barcelona and CSIC research professor.

<p>Bioinformatician Òscar Reina and biostatistician David Rossell develop ChroGPS (Photo: Battista/Minocri)</p>
19 Dec 2013

This is a software application that provides easily interpretable maps from which to analyse and understand the immense volume of epigenetic and genetic data available.

The work is the fruit of collaboration between biostatisticians, biocomputational researchers and molecular biologist at IRB Barcelona. The capacity of ChroGPS is described in an article in Nucleic Acids Research.

<p>(from left to righ) Researchers Salvador Pérez-Montero, Albert Carbonell and group leader Ferran Azorín</p>
30 Sep 2013

A team at IRB Barcelona identifies an essential protein for embryonic viability during the first cell divisions in the fly Drosophila.

This protein, called dBigH1, which is a variant of histone 1, could also be associated with fertility issues.

2 Sep 2011

The news section of the chemistry website Química.es echoes the latest discoveries by the research group led by Ferran Azorín at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), and published recently in Current Biology. Performed in Drosophila, the study reveals that the levels of the centromeric histone CenH3 in Drosophila, which are crucial for the correct function of the centromere during cell division, are tightly regulated through degradation in the proteasome.