Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have decoded the atomic structure of a key enzyme complex PRC2. PRC2, or Polycomb repressive complex 2, plays a crucial role in the formation of several types of cancer like lymphoma, leukemia, brain tumors, and a number of congenital diseases.
These findings will help scientists understand how PRC2 functions in normal cells and how mutations in the gene causes diseases.
The PRC2 enzyme regulates the gene expressions through modifying the structure of chromatin, a complex of DNA and protein. When the functioning of PRC2 is disturbed due to mutations in its gene, it can cause serious health issues. PRC2 enzyme levels that are too high or too low are not good for the cell.
This research is significant since PRC2 interacts with thousands of proteins in the human body, but knowing which ones are responsible for malfunctioning and development of cancer or diseases was virtually impossible until now.