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Researches Report Protein that Controls Flowering thru Combined on and off Switches
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: August 19, 2018 07:09AM

A research published in Nature Genetics and conducted by University of
Wisconsin-Madison biologists presents a previously unknown mechanism for
controlling cellular decisions, one which combines an on-and-off switch in a
single protein.

Geneticist Xuehua Zhong and her lab at Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
found that the protein EBS can bind to two different chemical modifications
on histones, proteins that DNA wraps around, either promoting or preventing
the transition to flowering in plants. This provides opportunities for
developing better crops and could also help scientists in studying
detrimental diseases such as cancer.

Gene activation is usually controlled by one protein, while another protein
will block the gene's epression. However, Zhong's team found that EBC has
domains that can read both activating and repressing marks, and then make
the switch turn on or off. They also reported that during flowering time,
EBS changes its shape, making it more linked to the activating
modifications. That transformation from "off" to "on" allows EBS to switch
on a group of genes that activates the flowering program.


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