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Lipoprotein that promotes chronic TB infection

By | July 25, 2001

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection induces a strong immune response, but by an as yet unknown mechanism, can persist within macrophages. In July Journal of Immunology Erika Noss and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio show that a 19-kDa lipoprotein produced by MTB, inhibits antigen processing by macrophages and prevents recognition by T cells, thereby promoting chronic TB infection.Using electroelution techniques, Noss et al. extracted a specific component fr

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pRB repression in yeast

By | July 25, 2001

The retinoblastoma protein (pRB) is a tumor suppressor protein that can act as a transcriptional repressor, but the mechanisms underlying this function are unclear and controversial. In the July 17 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Kennedy et al., from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, describe the use of a yeast model system to address the mechanism of pRB repression (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:8720-8725). They expressed a chimeric protein in which the large

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Genome Rap

By | July 24, 2001

The repressor-activator protein 1 (Rap1) binds to [C(1-3)A]n repeats, acts as a transcriptional activator, and represses gene expression at telomeres by binding to the accessory silencing proteins Sir2, Sir3 and Sir4. In the Advance Online Publication of Nature Genetics, Lieb and colleagues, at Stanford University, describe a study to investigate the genome-wide DNA-binding specificity of Rap1 and Sir proteins in vivo (Nature Genetics 2001 DOI:10.1038/ng569). They performed chromatin immunopreci

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Targeted destruction

By | July 24, 2001

Synthetic chimeric molecules can be used to target proteins for ubiquitin-dependent degradation.

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Pneumococcus genome

By | July 23, 2001

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) was the bacterial strain used in the historic studies of Avery, MacLeod and McCarty more than half a century ago to demonstrate that DNA is the material of inheritance. The Gram-positive bacterium causes over 3 million infant deaths each year from pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis. In the July 20 Science, Tettelin and colleagues from The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) report the complete genome sequence of S. pneumoniae (Science 2001, 293:498-506)

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Prion detection in peripheral tissues

By | July 20, 2001

A firm diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) is difficult to make because it is based on distinguishing misfolded prion proteins (PrPSc) from normally folded prion proteins in human brain biopsies. In 20 July issue of the Lancet, Wadsworth and colleagues from Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK, describe a new technique based on a highly sensitive immunoblotting assay that can accurately detect PrPSc in peripheral tissue in patients suspected of vCJD. Wadsworth et al.

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Ras controls herpes virus penetration in cells

By | July 20, 2001

Oncogenes in Ras signalling pathway are essential in host-cell permissiveness to herpes simplex virus 1.

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Actin checkpoint

By | July 19, 2001

Mitotic segregation of chromosomes depends on correct assembly of the bipolar spindle and mitosis is delayed by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). In the July 19 Nature, Gachet et al., at the National Institute for Medical Research and University College London, describe a different mitotic checkpoint in yeast (Nature 2001, 412:352-355). They investigated the link between organization of the actin cytoskeleton and the cell cycle in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. They synchroniz

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Custom-made human embryos for medical research

By | July 19, 2001

Scientists in the US have created stem cells from human embryos derived from germ cells donated explicitly for providing tissue for medical research.

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BRCA2-repair

By | July 18, 2001

Mutations in the human BRCA2 gene are associated with susceptibility to early-onset breast cancer, but it is unclear how the wild-type BRCA2 protein works. In the July 17 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Xia et al. describe investigation of the role of BRCA2 in DNA repair (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:8644-8649). They expressed BRCA2 in Capan-1 carcinoma cells, the only human cell line that has non-functional BRCA2. BRCA2 expression increased homologous recombination ten-fold,

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