Gene Regulation and Human Health
When one thinks about genes and their innate ability to switch themselves on and off, a question comes to our mind, how exactly is this process governed? We know that there are transcriptional factors involved in the very basal level but then what decides which protein should attach and when and how. Even though more than 20 years have gone by since the first human genome was sequenced, many aspects of genetics, genomics, and biology, on the whole, remain murky. While this turbidity sure feels irksome, it does give biologists a broader range of discoveries. One such avenue has slowly started clearing up. Gene regulation is one of the most sought-after mysteries to be unravelled. It is a system through which over and underexpression of genes is controlled, resulting in it becoming one of the areas where an error could give rise to lethal and deprecating diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's and several more. A new study published in nature communications could very well give current models of gene expression a run for its money.
Packaging of a gene’s promoter region is a deciding factor on whether a gene will be expressed or restricted. A histone variant(protein) H2A.Z plays an important role in regulating the packaging of the genes in many different ways, but a finding that stood out to the researchers is that one role of H2A.Z is to make sure that only the appropriate regulatory factors can interact with the gene promoter. This discovery is a small step towards unearthing information that can throw light on all that is involved in the biological processes that ensure the proper functioning of every cell. It is a kind of discovery that not only dips into the vast, previously unknown oceans of molecular biology but also has the potential to open up new pathways for therapeutic applications.
Though there is still a lot to do, with how much technology and biological science has progressed it won't be long before we see this study come to fruition in ways that will give hope and help millions of people.