UAMS Researchers Develop Method of Identifying Proteins That Can Lead to Disease - Innovate Arkansas
UAMS Researchers Develop Method of Identifying Proteins That Can Lead to Disease
By Arkansas Business Staff, 7/19/2012 2:18:08 PM
A team led by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researcher Alan Tackett has developed a technology for identifying proteins that drive disease development, according to a UAMS news release issued Thursday.
The new technology is expected to lead to more effective and personalized treatments for cancer and other diseases. The team's study was published Thursday in the professional journal, Cell Reports, and is available online here.
"The fields of genetics and epigenetics have been limited by the lack of tools to comprehensively identify the proteins and protein modifications that direct cellular phenotypes such as the progression of cancer," Tackett, a molecular biologist, said in the release. "If we could identify the specific proteins turning 'on' or 'off' gene transcription during the disease development process, then we could intelligently design specific therapies and treatments to counter that process."
Tackett's research was funded through the National Institutes for Health.
Tackett said his team's work represents the first time scientists have been able to identify all of the proteins and protein modifications involved in the make up a chromosome. Certain proteins found in chromosomes have been linked to cancer and other diseases.
Tackett called the research a breakthrough in the study of epigenetics, the "study of changes in gene expression or cellular characteristics caused by mechanisms regulating access to the genetic information of life," and said the next step will be to move the technology platform to disease-model systems and patient samples.
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