Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Colorado State Gets $7.8M for Nucleosome Studies

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Three scientists at Colorado State University will use a $7.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how genes control cellular behavior and how that can impact human health, according to the university.

The researchers will use the five-year grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to study how nucleosomes unfold and disassemble to expose genes that give cells their biological traits, the university said Monday.

"Because the nucleosome plays a pivotal role in gene expression, finding ways to manipulate its assembly and disassembly are of great biological and potentially therapeutic interest," Peter Preusch, who is chief of the Biophysics Branch in the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics at NIGMS, explained in a statement.

"We know that nucleosomes serve to compact the DNA to fit into a cell nucleus; what remains a long-standing mystery is how genes - encoded by the DNA - are unwound from the nucleosomes to allow access for copying their instructions into proteins – with a specific biological outcome for the cell," said CSU Professor Jennifer Nyborg.

"The cell faces an enormous paradox – it must tightly wrap the DNA around nucleosomes for compaction, but at the same time it must unwrap the DNA at specific sites to turn a gene on, added Nyborg, who is lead investigator for the grant.

Nyborg will study the basic biochemistry of how nucleosomes are disassembled to expose the DNA of a gene.

CSU Distinguished Professor Karolin Luger will conduct experiments that focus on a protein involved in nucleosome assembly that may reveal how nucleosomes move off of DNA when genes are turned on.

Professor Laurie Stargell will use the funding to study the movement of nucleosomes when genes are turned on in living cells in yeast, which will complement the research of her CSU colleagues.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.