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Abstract Advances in mass spectrometry (MS) have revolutionized the ability to measure global changes in histone post-translational modifications (PTMs). The method routinely quantifies over 60 modification states in a single sample, far exceeding the capabilities of traditional western blotting. Thus, MS-based histone analysis has become an increasingly popular tool for understanding how genetics and environmental factors influence epigenetic states. However, histone proteomics experiments exhi...
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Abstract Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) catalyze the transfer of methyl groups to specific arginine residues of their substrates using S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl donor, contributing to regulation of many biological processes including transcription, and DNA damage repair. Dysregulation of PRMT expression is often associated with various diseases including cancers. Different methods have been used to characterize the activities of PRMTs and determine their kinetic parameters in...
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Abstract In recent years, various mass spectrometry-based approaches have been developed to determine global protein-DNA binding specificities using DNA affinity purifications from crude nuclear extracts. However, these assays are semi-quantitative and do not provide information about interaction affinities. We recently developed a technology that we call Protein-nucleic acid Affinity Quantification by MAss spectrometry in Nuclear extracts or PAQMAN, that can be used to determine apparent affini...
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Abstract The assembly of DNA into nucleosomes and higher order chromatin structures serves not only as a means of compaction but also organizes the genome to facilitate crucial processes such as cell division and regulation of gene expression. Chromatin structure generally limits access to DNA, with the accessibility of DNA in chromatin being regulated through post translational modification of the histone proteins as well as the activity of chromatin remodeling proteins and architectural chroma...
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Abstract Protein arginine N-methyltransferases (PRMTs) are a family of 9 enzymes that catalyze mono- or di-methylation of arginine residues using S-adenosyl- L -methionine (SAM). Arginine methylation is an important post-translational modification that can regulate the activity and structure of target proteins. Altered PRMT activity can lead to a variety of health issues including neurodevelopmental disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Thus, developing a robust mech...
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Abstract Network analysis is a powerful tool for modelling biological systems. We propose a new approach that integrates the genomic interaction data at population level with the proteomic interaction data. In our approach we use chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing (ChIA-PET) data from human genome to construct a set of genomic interaction networks, considering the natural partitioning of chromatin into chromatin contact domains (CCD). The genomic networks are then mapped...
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Abstract Extracellular vesicles (EVs), derived from cell membranes, demonstrate the potential to be excellent therapeutics and drug carriers. Although EVs are promising, the process to develop high-quality and scalable EVs for their translation is demanding. Within this research, we analyzed the production of EVs, their purification and their post-bioengineering, and we also discussed the biomedical applications of EVs. We focus on the developments of methods in producing EVs including biologica...
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Abstract Quantifying DNA cleavage by CRISPR-Cas nucleases is usually done by separating the cleaved products from the non-cleaved target by agarose gel electrophoresis. We devised a method that eliminates the quantification from band intensity on agarose gel, and uses a target with a fluorescent dye on the one end and a biotin on the other. Cleavage of the target will separate the dye from the biotin, and cause the dye to stay in solution when streptavidin beads are introduced. All non-cleaved t...
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Abstract The protein arginine methyltransferase family (PRMT) is known as being the catalytic driving force for arginine methylation. This specific type of post translational modification is extensively used in biological processes, and therefore is highly relevant in the pathology of a profusion of diseases. Since altered PRMT expression or deregulation has been shown to contribute to a vast range of those diseases including cancer, their study is of great interest. Although an increasing numbe...
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Abstract Functional RNA structures are prevalent in viral genomes, and have been shown to play roles in almost every aspect of their biology. However, the majority of viral RNA remains structurally uncharacterized. This is likely to remain true as the cost of sequencing decreases much faster than the cost of structural characterizations. Because of this, there is a need for rapid, inexpensive methods to highlight regions of viral RNA which are ideal candidates for structure-function analyses. Th...
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