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Human gene expression initiates in both directions on the DNA strand from the beginning of most genes. Researchers have revealed that our DNA in the direction of the gene is depleted of ’pA sites’, which function as transcriptional stop signals, while the DNA in the opposite direction is enriched for these stop signals. Furthermore, the study disclosed that such ’pA sites’, when positioned near the position in the DNA where transcription initiated, link to rapid degradation of the produced RNA molecules. Figure: Ebbe Sloth Andersen, MBG

2013.07.14 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

How human gene promoters become directional

An international research team has disclosed how cellular gene transcription and RNA degradation processes collaborate to achieve a directional output from human genes.

The foxglove plant (Digitalis) is used for heart medicine, but it must be used with caution as it is toxic.

2013.07.02 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

New research can improve heart medicine

New research from Aarhus University can be of decisive importance for the thousands of Danes living with a heart disease. A new understanding of how a widely used compound in heart medicine affects the cells may make it possible to develop a new medicine for treating fibrillation and heart failure, for example.

The Danish research team (from left): Christian Damgaard, Michal Lubas and Torben Heick Jensen. Photo: Manfred Schmid
Schematic model for cytoplasmic mRNA degradation in human cells. The 5’-3’ exonuclease hXRN1, the 3’-5 exonucleases hDIS3L2, and hDIS3L/exosome impact cytoplasmic mRNA turnover in human cells. A fraction of hXRN1 and hDIS3L2, but not the exosome, associates with ribosomes, however, it remains to be shown whether 3’-5’ degradation also occurs at these assemblies (indicated by question marks). Figure: Michal Lubas

2013.07.02 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Identification of a novel mRNA degradation pathway in humans

Researchers from Denmark and Poland have uncovered a novel molecular pathway, which regulates gene expression in the cytoplasm of human cells. The finding has implications for the human diseases; the Perlman syndrome of overgrowth and Wilms' tumor development.