Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein involved in childhood disorder linked to cancer

31.08.2004


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.



Cells incur chronic DNA damage from exposure to normal metabolic byproducts as well as external chemicals and radiation. In order to mitigate this DNA damage, cells must have a mechanism for both detecting damage and for stopping their machinery until the damage is fixed. This feedback mechanism relies on cycle "checkpoint" controls that delay the cell division cycle so that these repair systems have time to work.

"Regulation of these protective processes is coordinated through the action of signaling systems that detect DNA damage, interpret and amplify the signal, and call in appropriate repair and checkpoint responses," said Stern and Xu. "Impairment of checkpoint signaling systems can lead to excessive accumulation of mutations or chromosomal aberrations that are an important aspect of human carcinogenesis."

Microcephalin is very similar in structure to several "mediator" proteins known to be involved in DNA checkpoint responses. Curious to see if microcephalin is involved in these responses, Stern and Xu, along with Juhie Lee, M.D./Ph.D., engineered cells with reduced microcephalin. They found that when they damaged the DNA in these cells with radiation, the checkpoint response was impaired. They also found that, like other mediator proteins, microcephalin is recruited to sites of DNA breaks. From this, the scientists concluded that microcephalin is an important participant in or regulator of DNA checkpoint responses.

This discovery has many potential therapeutic applications. "The finding that MCPH1 is involved in DNA damage responses suggests that MCPH1 loss of function may promote carcinogenesis," said Stern and Xu. "If so, then restoration of MCPH1 function through gene therapy, or upregulation of pathways involving MCPH1 through other means, could forestall cancer development in individuals known to harbor such mutations. Also, drugs that antagonize MCPH1 in tumors that also have other checkpoint defects may sensitize those tumors to genotoxic therapies."

Nicole Kresge | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asbmb.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows

29.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Researchers discover dust plays prominent role in nutrients of mountain forest ecoystems

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

OLED production facility from a single source

29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>