March 23, 2015
Although the genome editing system known as CRISPR/Cas has revolutionized genetic research in cell lines, its overall efficiency has been relatively poor when used to generate genetically altered animals for disease modeling. Now Whitehead Institute scientists have altered the approach in a manner that could accelerate the production of mice carrying precise mutations of multiple genes.
January 7, 2015
Scientists in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have for the first time identified a protein that appears to be a nutrient sensor for the key growth-regulating mTORC1 metabolic pathway.
December 15, 2014
A widely conserved family of RNA-binding proteins known to be expressed in neural stem cells and other stem cell types has now been shown to play a role in controlling both the state and behavior of breast cancer cells.
December 8, 2014
Long known for its ability to help organisms successfully adapt to environmentally stressful conditions, the highly conserved molecular chaperone heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90) also enables estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers to develop resistance to hormonal therapy.
November 6, 2014
Induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) hold promise for therapeutic transplantation, but their potential in this capacity has been limited by failed efforts to maintain such cells in their multi-potent NSC state. Now, Whitehead Institute scientists have created iNSCs that remain in the multi-potent state—without ongoing expression of reprogramming factors. This allows the iNSCs to self-renew repeatedly to generate cells in quantities sufficient for therapy.
October 30, 2014
An exhaustive effort to sequence the mouse Y chromosome reveals a surprisingly large and complex biological beast, at the same time providing remarkable insight into a heated battle for supremacy between mammalian sex chromosomes.
October 30, 2014
A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has discovered the surprising manner in which an enigmatic protein known as SUUR acts to control gene copy number during DNA replication. It’s a finding that could shed new light on the formation of fragile genomic regions associated with chromosomal abnormalities.
October 7, 2014
Scientists have long theorized that the way in which the roughly three meters of DNA in a human cell is packaged to fit within a nuclear space just six microns wide, affects gene expression. Now, Whitehead Institute researchers present the first evidence that DNA structure does indeed have such effects—in this case finding a link between chromosome structure and the expression and repression of key genes.
October 2, 2014
MIT and Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a new way to boost yeast tolerance to ethanol simply by altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown. They believe this finding could have a significant impact on industrial biofuel production.
September 25, 2014
Cells rely on the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway—which senses the availability of nutrients—to coordinate their growth with existing environmental conditions. The lab of Whitehead Member David Sabatini has identified a family of proteins that negatively regulate the branch upstream of mTORC1 that senses amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
September 15, 2014
Deploying sophisticated high-throughput sequencing technology, dubbed ψ-seq, a team of Whitehead Institute and Broad Institute researchers collaborated on a comprehensive, high-resolution mapping of ψ sites that confirms pseudouridylation, the most common post-transcriptional modification, does indeed occur naturally in mRNA.
September 4, 2014
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may hold the potential to cure damaged nerves, regrow limbs and organs, and perfectly model a patient’s particular disease. Yet these cells can acquire serious genetic and epigenetic abnormalities that lower the cells’ quality and limit their therapeutic usefulness. Now Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a cocktail of reprogramming factors that produces very high quality iPSCs.