Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnDownload AudioShageluk Man Arraigned On Murder Charges In BethelDaysha Eaton, KYUK – BethelEverett Semone of Shageluk was arraigned on murder charges at the Bethel court this afternoon. He is accused of killing his parents with an axe in the village of Shageluk earlier this week.Alaska National Guard Officer Recommended For ‘Other Than Honorable’ Discharge Lori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageA Lieutenant Colonel in the Alaska National Guard was recommended for an “other than honorable” discharge earlier this year, according to a story in this week’s Anchorage Press. Joseph Lawendowski is the guard’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training.Reporter David Holthouse says he started looking into Lawendowski after reading the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations report that came out last month.AEA: Fisheries Service Criticism of Susitna Dam Studies ‘Untenable, Bordering On The Absurd’Phillip Manning, KTNA – TalkeetnaThe Alaska Energy Authority has responded to letters from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that questioned research being done on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.Officials Say Violence Against Foster Parents Extremely RareAnne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageKSKA DJ Marvell Johnson was killed this week by his foster son. But state officials with the foster care system stress that events like this are extremely rare and they have systems in place to keep foster parents and children safe.As Part Of Investigation, Feds Will Hear From UAS Students About Sexual AssaultLisa Phu, KTOO – JuneauStudents at the University of Alaska Southeast will get a chance to talk to federal auditors about sexual assault on campus.The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights will be at the UAS Juneau campus Friday as part of an examination of the university’s handling of complaints and reports of sexual harassment and violence.Governor’s Race Brings Walker To UnalaskaLauren Rosenthal, KUCB – UnalaskaWith less than a month until Election Day, the race to become Alaska’s next governor is heating up. Independent candidate Bill Walker and his Democrat running mate are canvassing the state for votes – all the way out to the Aleutians.KSM Mine Project Wins Key PermitsEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauA controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.But the KSM project still needs other government approvals – and large investments – before mining can begin. Also, a company with nearby claims says it must also grant approval.Subsistence Panel Looks Toward Future of Salmon ManagementBen Matheson, KYUK – BethelTribal co-management and Chinook bycatch took center stage Tuesday at a subsistence panel at the Association of Village Council Presidents conference.Environments Activists Forming Fairbanks Chapter of Climate Change OrganizationTim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksFairbanks-area environmental activists say they’re building on the momentum they generated two weeks ago during the local observance of the global People’s Climate March. They’re forming a local chapter of the national organization to help reduce the impact of climate change.
May 9 2018Scientists have known for decades that the Hox family of transcription factors are key regulators in the formation of blood cells and the development of leukemia. Exactly how this large family of genes, which are distributed in four separate chromosomal clusters named A through D, is regulated has been less clear. Now, new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research reveals that a DNA regulatory element within the Hoxb cluster globally mediates signals to the majority of Hoxb genes to control their expression in blood-forming stem cells.”It’s like we found a general control that simultaneously turns the lights on and off in many rooms, rather than having a single switch that controls each individual room,” says Stowers Investigator Linheng Li, PhD, who co-led the study along with Stowers Scientific Director and Investigator Robb Krumlauf, PhD. These findings also help explain why a particular form of leukemia resists treatment and points to potential new therapeutic avenues.In mammals, the blood system contains a number of mature cell types -; white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets -; that arise from blood-forming, or hematopoietic, stem cells (HSCs). HSCs renew themselves and differentiate into other cells to replenish the body’s blood supply in a process called hematopoiesis. Hox genes, which are well known for their roles in establishing the body plan of developing organisms, are also important for HSCs to maintain their critical balancing act in the adult blood system, and have been implicated in the development of leukemia.In an article published online May 3, 2018, in Cell Stem Cell, Li, Krumlauf, and co-authors including first author Pengxu Qian, PhD, second author Bony De Kumar, PhD, and other collaborators provide new details as to how Hox genes are regulated in HSCs. They report that a single cis-regulatory element, DERARE, works over a long range to control the majority of Hoxb genes in HSCs in a coordinated manner. The researchers found that the loss of the DERARE decreased Hoxb expression and altered the types of blood cells arising from HSCs, whereas “turning on” DERARE allowed Hoxb cluster gene expression in progenitor cells and increased the progression of leukemia.Genes can be regulated by non-coding DNA sequences termed cis-regulatory sequences. These sequences get input from multiple types of molecules, such as transcription factors, histone modifiers, or various morphogens. The DERARE, or distal element RARE (retinoic acid response element), is a cis-regulatory element that responds to signals from the vitamin A derivative retinoic acid and determines the fate of HSCs.Related StoriesCancer stem cells elude the body’s immune cells by deactivating danger detectorMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Using human leukemia cell lines and mouse models, the Stowers researchers and collaborators have identified a mechanism for how the retinoid-sensitive DERARE maintains normal hematopoiesis and prevents acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by regulating Hoxb cluster genes in a methylation-dependent manner.Methylation is the process of adding methyl groups to the DNA molecule, which can change the activity of the DNA segment. The researchers demonstrated that DNA methyltransferases mediate DNA methylation on DERARE, leading to reduced Hoxb cluster expression. AML patients with mutations in the DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A exhibit reduced DERARE methylation, elevated Hoxb expression, and adverse outcomes.”In two human AML cell lines carrying a DNMT3A mutation, we used an adaptation of genome editing technology called dCas9-DNMT3A to specifically increase the DNA methylation on DERARE. This targeted methylation technique was able to reduce Hoxb cluster expression and alleviate the progression of leukemia,” says Qian. “It is known that Hoxb cluster genes show a dramatic increase in expression in patients with DNMT3A-mutated AML. Our work provides mechanistic insights into the use of DNA methylation on the DERARE as a potential screening tool for therapeutic drugs that target DNMT3A-mutated AML, thus leading to the development of new drugs for treating AML, in which DNA methylation is abnormal.”Kumar adds, “This paper effectively shows that methylation status of DERARE in the middle of the Hoxb cluster acts as a key determinant to maintain normal hematopoiesis. Further, aberrant methylation patterns in this region are evident in the development of human leukemia. We have shown the importance of generating appropriate methylation patterns in the DERARE control element in normal hematopoiesis and in leukemia.” Source: https://www.stowers.org/media/news/may-7-2018