DNA Looping Architecture May Lead to Opportunities to Treat Brain Tumors

The discovery of a mechanism by which normal brain cells regulate the expression of the NFIA gene, which is important for both normal brain development and brain tumor growth, might one day help improve therapies to treat brain tumors. The study was published online on September 11, 2017 in Nature Neuroscience. This article is titled “Glia-Specific Enhancers and Chromatin Structure Regulate NFIA Expression and Glioma Tumorigenesis.” "We began this project by studying how three components that regulate the expression of the NFIA gene interact with each other in the developing spinal cord in animal models," said corresponding author Dr. Benjamin Deneen, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. The researchers studied primarily glial cells (image), which represent 70 percent of the cells in the central nervous system and support the functions of the neurons.
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