A team of scientists has found that a protein involved in a congenital neurological disorder also plays a role in DNA damage repair and thus cancer prevention. The research appears as the "Paper of the Week" in the August 13 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology journal.
Primary microcephaly is a rare neurological disorder that results in an abnormally small head due to improper brain formation and growth. Children with this condition may be short, have seizures and have normal or mildly retarded intelligence.
"Microcephalin is the protein encoded by the MCPH1 gene, which, when mutated, is a major cause of microcephaly. We have now identified an important function for microcephalin, which may eventually help explain the connection of MCPH1 with microcephaly, and which links microcephalin function to DNA damage responses that prevent cancer from developing," said David F. Stern, Ph.D., and Xingzhi Xu, M.D./Ph.D. of the Yale University School of Medicine.
Nicole Kresge | EurekAlert!
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