Volume 5, Number 11, October - December, 2013

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About the Cover

Transcription factor is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, thereby controlling the flow of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA. Transcription factors are essential for the regulation of gene expression and are, as a consequence, found in all living organisms. The first general transcription factor to bind gene promoters is transcription factor IID (TFIID). TFIID triggers pre-initiation complex formation, functions as a coactivator by interacting with transcriptional activators and reads epigenetic marks. TFIID is a megadalton-sized multiprotein complex composed of TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) and 13 TBP-associated factors (TAFs) (Ref: Balasubramanian J. Discovery of Initiation Machinery in human transcription complexes may pinpoint the complex-disease traits. Disease, 2013, 5(11), 7), (Image: www.hhmi.org).

DISEASE OF THE MONTH

Breast cancer: Biomarkers and disease management

Balasubramanian J

Breast cancer remains one of the top threats to the health of women. Breast cancer is considered as a heterogeneous disease comprising various types of neoplasms, which involves different profile changes in both mRNA and micro-RNA (miRNA) expression. Extensive studies on mRNA expression in breast tumor have yielded some very interesting findings, some of which have been validated and used in clinic. Recent miRNA research advances showed great potential for the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets. miRNAs are a new class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs that are involved in regulating gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. It has been demonstrated that miRNA expression is frequently deregulated in breast cancer, which warrants further in-depth investigation to decipher their precise regulatory role in tumorigenesis. Recent advances in phenotyping and expression profiling of human cancers have greatly enhanced the diagnosis and biological classification of several tumors, in particular breast cancers. Carbohydrate antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) is the most widely applied serum marker. However, the lack of sensitivity precluded its clinical use in early stage disease.

Disease, 2013, 5(11), 6

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NEWS

Discovery of initiation machinery in human transcription complexes may pinpoint the complex-disease traits

Balasubramanian J

Transcription factor is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, thereby controlling the flow of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA. Transcription factors are essential for the regulation of gene expression and are, as a consequence, found in all living organisms. The first general transcription factor to bind gene promoters is transcription factor IID (TFIID). TFIID triggers pre-initiation complex formation, functions as a coactivator by interacting with transcriptional activators and reads epigenetic marks. TFIID is a megadalton-sized multiprotein complex composed of TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) and 13 TBP-associated factors (TAFs). Scientist at Penn State University has achieved a major milestone in understanding how genomic "dark matter" originates. This "dark matter" is called non-coding RNA. It does not contain the blueprint for making proteins and yet it comprises more than 95 percent of the human genome. The researchers have discovered that essentially all coding and non-coding RNA originates at the same types of locations along the human genome.

Disease, 2013, 5(11), 7

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