Decade-long search for clean-water living single-celled organism solves puzzle concerned with gene regulation

After an intrepid decade-long search, Johns Hopkins drug scientists say they have found a new position for a pair of enzymes

The new findings, published Nov. 21 in Epigenetics & Chromatin, may eventually help scientists understand disease

"Developing better expertise on the ways that enzymes affect the activity of our genomes offers valuable insights into biology

new therapeutic techniques for diseases," says Sean Taverna, Ph.D., associate professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences 

The search began more than a decade ago, when Taverna began searching for elements that would affect DNA activity in Tetrahymena

During the original observation, the research team noted a previously unknown signal that the single-celled creature uses to "mark

The mark's place is in histone proteins, which act like spools that tightly wind the DNA, regularly turning genes off 

In a follow-up update published in 2016, Taverna found that the H3K23 location is conserved between Tetrahymena and mammals, 

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