For a skin cell to do its job, it must turn on a completely different set of genes than a liver cell — and keep genes it doesn’t need switched off. One way of turning off large groups of genes at once is to send them to “time-out” at the edge of the nucleus, where they are kept quiet. New research from Johns Hopkins sheds light on how DNA gets sent to the nucleus’ far edge, a process critical to controlling genes and determining cell fate.
In mouse cells, the YY1 protein binds to a segment of DNA (green), leading it to attach to the lamina (red) at the edge of the nucleus.
Credit:Reddy Lab, Johns Hopkins Medicine
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (1 R01 GM106024-01).