Stowers News

Conserved nuclear envelope protein uses a shuttle service to travel between job sites

Feb 10 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO—Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have glimpsed two proteins working together inside living cells to facilitate communication between the cell's nucleus and its exterior compartment, the cytoplasm. The research provides new clues into how a crucial protein that is found in organisms from yeast to humans does its work.

Fruit flies reveal normal function of a gene mutated in spinocerebellar ataxia type 7

Jan 31 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO—Disruptive clumps of mutated protein are often blamed for clogging cells and interfering with brain function in patients with the neurodegenerative diseases known as spinocerebellar ataxias. But a new study in fruit flies suggests that for at least one of these diseases, the defective proteins may not need to form clumps to do harm.

Next-gen reappraisal of interactions within a cancer-associated protein complex

Jan 15 2014

Application of global sequencing technology reveals how an activator of gene expression stays focused

KANSAS CITY, MO—At a glance, DNA is a rather simple sequence of A, G, C, T bases, but once it is packaged by histone proteins into an amalgam called chromatin, a more complex picture emerges. Histones, which come in four subtypes—H2A, H2B, H3, and H4—can either coil DNA into inaccessible silent regions or untwist it to allow gene expression. To further complicate things, small chemical flags, such as methyl groups, affect whether histones silence or activate genes.

Stowers researchers announce first genetic model of a human jaw fusion defect known as syngnathia

Dec 20 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO—The face you critiqued in the mirror this morning was sculpted before you were born by a transient population of cells called neural crest cells. Those cells spring from neural tissue of the brain and embryonic spinal cord and travel throughout the body, where they morph into highly specialized bone structures, cartilage, connective tissue, and nerve cells.

Stowers team links dampened mTOR signaling with the developmental disorder Roberts syndrome

Oct 4 2013

Studies in fish and cultured human cells provide insight into a human disease

KANSAS CITY, MO—Children born with developmental disorders called cohesinopathies can suffer severe consequences, including intellectual disabilities, limb shortening, craniofacial anomalies, and slowed growth. Researchers know which mutations underlie some cohesinopathies, but have developed little understanding of the downstream signals that are disrupted in these conditions.

Urgent! How genes tell cellular construction crews, “Read me now!”

Aug 13 2013

Stowers researchers show that DNA sequences at the beginning of genes—at least in fruit flies— contain more information than previously thought.

KANSAS CITY, MO—When egg and sperm combine, the new embryo bustles with activity. Its cells multiply so rapidly they largely ignore their DNA, other than to copy it and to read just a few essential genes. The embryonic cells mainly rely on molecular instructions placed in the egg by its mother in the form of RNA.

Rethinking “The Code”

Aug 12 2013

Stowers investigators show that rules governing expression of developmental genes in mouse embryonic stem cells are more nuanced than anticipated

LEC: A multi-purpose tool

Aug 8 2013

Stowers investigators’ study reveals key piece of RNA-splicing machinery

KANSAS CITY, MO—A little-studied factor known as the Little Elongation Complex (LEC) plays a critical and previously unknown role in the transcription of small nuclear RNAs (snRNA), according to a new study led by scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and published in the Aug. 22, 2013, issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

Once again, Stowers Institute ranks among the top three places to work

Aug 1 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO—For the second year running, The Scientist magazine placed the Stowers Institute for Medical Research among the top three “Best Places to Work in Academia.”

In the magazine’s 10th and final annual survey, Stowers scientists cited the institute’s infrastructure and environment as well as the research resources available to them as the key factors that give the Stowers the “core strength” that lifted the institute into the #3 spot.

A flip of the mitotic spindle has disastrous consequences for epithelial cells

Jul 22 2013

Stowers investigators use genetics and live cell imaging to illuminate molecular mechanisms that position the cell division machinery in growing tissues

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