Sumary of Scientists provide new insight on how to stop transcription of cancer cells:
- Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a key protein, transcription factor TAF12, that plays a critical role in the formation of a preinitiation complex, which consists of over one hundred proteins that are necessary for the transcription of protein-coding genes.
- The findings could help pave the way for cancer therapies that target TAF12, potentially stopping transcription in cancer cells and helping decrease the growth of cancerous tumors.
- “Identifying TAF12 as the cornerstone of the preinitiation complex allowed us to eliminate preinitiation complexes in the cell, and that has not been done before,” said senior author Michael Carey, PhD, professor of Biological Chemistry and director of the Gene Regulation Program at the Jonsson Cancer Center.
- Efficient transcription, a basic and fundamental biological process that plays an important role in making proteins, requires the formation of a preinitiation complex that has over one hundred transcription factors including two major complexes termed co-activators.
- In this study, UCLA investigators looked to identify the key proteins in the co-activators to see if this knowledge of gene regulation and transcription could be eventually be applied to cancer therapeutics.
- A technique termed auxin-inducible degradation was employed by the researchers to rapidly remove the identified transcription factor to determine the effects on formation of preinitiation complexes throughout the genome.