Friday, November 23, 2007

CRG symposium personal summary

So, here are some of the (few) talks I could hear at the CRG Symposium which took place at the PRBB about 10 days ago, and a brief explanation of (what I understood about) them.

Peter Fraser, from the Babraham Institute, gave the first talk, which was about the “transcription factories”, an interesting concept he’s been talking about for a while. Many genes, often genes that are related to the same biochemical pathway or that are regulated by the same transcription factor, ‘meet together’ while being transcribed, they co-localise in so-called transcription factories. He has looked for the genes that co-localise with  and  globin genes using a genome-wide 4C technique and he has found hundreds of them, which interestingly were spread over all chromosomes.

Angus Lamond (University of Dundee) talked about nucleolar dynamics. He’s analysing the nucleolar proteome at the level of protein organization and dynamics: he called this a ‘second generation’ proteomics strategy (as opposed to a first generation which would not include dynamics, but only ‘a list’ of the proteins found there). The nucleolus is a subcompartment in the nucleus where ribosome biogenesis takes place, and it is itself subdivided into 3 regions. So far, Lamond’s group has analysed about 3,000 proteins, and found 407 that are ‘nucleolar’, 234 of which were not annotated at GO as nucleolar (which exemplifies how bad is still the annotation in this gene ontology). For studying the dynamics they are comparing the nucleolus proteome of cells at different temperatures.

Other speakers included, amongst many others, Robert Singer, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who has done FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) of mRNAs at the transcription site to study their dynamics in living cells; Miguel Beato, director of the CRG, who talked about hormone nuclear receptors and chromatin remodelling; Raúl Méndez, also from the CRG, who talked about translational control through cytoplasmic polyadenylation; and Tony Kouzarides, from the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, who talked about histone modifications and the mapping of methylation sties in the genome.

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