Researchers have unexpectedly stumbled across an entirely new approach to the therapeutic intervention for a family of anti-cancer drug targets.
The discovery, which details how transcriptional repression complexes work, is a major step forward in understanding the regulation of an important cancer target.
Professor John Schwabe, of the University of Leicester's Department of Biochemistry and researcher on the project, explained: "We have discovered a completely new and unexpected link between inositol phosphate signalling ... and the regulation of histone deacetylase enzymes and hence transcriptional repression or gene silencing."
Transcription is the process of creating a complementary RNA copy of a sequence of DNA and is involved in gene expression.
Understanding how transcription is regulated is vital for developing repression complexes into therapeutic targets for cancers.
Repression will help to stop cancerous cells spreading into their neighbours and could help doctors localise cancer.
The study may also contribute to a growing body of research that maps how gene transcription is controlled in embryonic stem cells.
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