Tag Archives: C. David Allis
Scientists have discovered a potential new target for the treatment of leukemia that potentially could augment the activity of BET inhibitors, drugs currently in clinical trials. These therapies act on histones, DNA’s packaging proteins, to reset gene regulatory programs that go awry in cancer.
Allis shares the award with Michael Grunstein of UCLA for identifying the critical role of histones and histone modification in regulating gene activity. The prize is awarded by The Gruber Foundation of Yale University and honors scientists whose work inspires fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. More »
Same but Different: How epigenetics can blur the line between nature and nurture “Allis walked me to his lab, a fluorescent-lit space overlooking the East River, divided by wide, polished-stone benches. A mechanical stirrer, whirring in a corner, clinked … More »
Researchers have discovered a new mechanism that helps neurons make new connections with one another, the basis for learning. Their discovery focuses on one particular type of DNA-supporting protein, the histone H3.3, and its role regulating gene expression. More »
The histone variant H3.3 appears to help keep certain genetic elements called retrotransponsons in place in the genome, preventing potentially harmful mutations in mouse embryonic stem cells, researchers have found. This discovery reveals a basic mechanism for epigenetics, or the control of inherited traits through means other than DNA. More »
Allis is recognized for his foundational research on the unexpected regulation of gene activation by modifications to proteins that package DNA, work with implications for many diseases including cancer. The Breakthrough Prize is worth $3 million, making it the richest prize in the life sciences, roughly double the Nobel Prize. More »
Winners announced for the world’s richest science award “[Dr.] Allis is considered the father of one of the hottest fields in 21st century science. Called epigenetics, it is the study of a phenomenon that 20th century biology said shouldn’t … More »
Allis’s discovery that chemical “tags” bind to specific sections of histone proteins in order to activate or silence nearby genes has ignited the field of epigenetics, a relatively new area of study which explores the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. The Japan Prize, worth approximately half a million dollars, is among the most prestigious prizes in science. More »
Scientists in David Allis’s laboratory have shown how a mutated histone protein inhibits an enzyme, which normally keeps cell growth in check, and causes a rare form of pediatric brain cancer called DIPG. Their findings reveal a mechanism for inhibiting enzymes and could lead to the development of pharmaceuticals that mimic the action of these mutant proteins.
Allis leads one of five cancer research teams that are winners of $5 million in grant awards from The Starr Foundation’s Sixth Starr Cancer Consortium Grant Competition.
Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism by which influenza viruses hijack key regulators of the human body’s normal antiviral response in order to slip by it undetected. The results have major implications for our understanding of the biology of the seasonal influenza virus and suggest a possible target for a new class of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs. More »
Since the introduction of Gleevec as a treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, survival rates have climbed dramatically and recurrence has fallen by two-thirds. But over time, many patients develop resistance to the drug. Now, scientists at Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have identified a molecule that acts as a survival factor for gastrointestinal tumors, a finding that may lead to next-generation therapies that can pick up where Gleevec leaves off. More »
The division of one cell into two is one of the most basic processes of life. One of the many tricks involved is the segregation of copied chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell before it divides. New research details for the first time the role of an epigenetic modification to the proteins that package DNA in the fundamental biological phenomenon, known as mitosis. More »
The path to fully developed cells from embryonic stem cells requires that the right genes are turned on and off at the right times. New research from Rockefeller University shows that tiny variations between gene-regulating histone proteins play an important role in determining how and when genes are read. The finding shows that each region of the genome may be even more specialized than previously expected and may open a new avenue of investigation regarding the mysterious causes of the human genetic disease known as ATR-X syndrome. More »
New findings, published in recent issues of Neuron and Science, indicate that malfunction of a protein complex that normally suppresses gene activation causes mental retardation in mice and humans and may even play a role in promoting susceptibility to drug addiction. More »
The development of blood from stem cell to fully formed blood cell follows a genetically determined program. When it doesn’t work properly, genetic mutations can cause the developing cells to turn cancerous. In research published in the journal Nature, Rockefeller University scientists show for the first time that a misreading of blood cells’ histone code is responsible for acute myeloid leukemia, a rare form of the deadly blood cancer. More »
Some genes are regulated through a process by which proteins in the cell nucleus, called histones, are chemically modified by small “chemical marks.” New research from Rockefeller University scientists shows that during specific stages of differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells, crucial marks can be removed by cutting off the end of the histone’s tail. More »
Allis, who studies DNA-packaging proteins called histones, is one of five scientists to be honored by the Gairdner Foundation for “fundamental discoveries that will have impact on human genetic development, cancer and other diseases.” More »
Activating a gene requires a host of proteins to work in tandem to pry open DNA’s protective chromatin shell, formed by complexes of DNA and special packaging proteins called histones. New research identifies a key step in the mechanism that unpackages DNA. More »
For cells, like people, relationships are based on good communication. In yeast cells, however, scientists have shown that communication between certain molecules involved in gene regulation can trigger the cell’s suicide program, suggesting that molecular “crosstalk” may be an important mechanism by which cells respond to adverse events like cancer. More »