Navigation Links
UGA researchers explore function of cancer-causing gene
Date:3/26/2014

Athens, Ga. Developmental biologists at the University of Georgia are discovering new roles for a specific gene known as Max's Giant Associated protein, or MGA. A little studied protein, MGA appears to control a number of developmental processes, and also may be connected to cancer development.

The researchers detail their findings in a paper published recently in the journal Developmental Cell.

"The same genes that are involved in building a person during embryonic development can mutate and cause cancer later in life," said Scott Dougan the study's principal investigator and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientist in UGA's Department of Cellular Biology. "No one has done a systematic study of MGA, but now that some studies connect it to cancer, there is tremendous interest."

The most common cancer associated with MGA is chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a blood and bone marrow disease in which the body produces too many white blood cells. Preliminary tests suggest that this cancer might develop when MGA does not successfully control the activities of another protein known as MYC, which contributes to tumor growth.

Dougan and his team of researchers used their own methods to change the levels of MGA in the embryos of zebrafish to see if they could discover any other roles for MGA.

They found that MGA also helps control expression of the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, or BMP, which, as the name implies, are responsible for bone development in the embryo. In adults, however, changes in BMP activity can result in tumor development, and MGA may be part of this detrimental transformation.

"Scientists are only beginning to understand the roles this MGA protein plays, but our tests show that MGA may control many more processes than first imagined," said Dougan, who is also a member of UGA's Developmental Biology Alliance. "MGA may be involved in a number of other cancers, but we need to do more research before we're sure."

In the coming months, Dougan and his research team plan to further examine the roles of MGA to determine when it controls MYC, when it controls BMP and how it is involved in tumor formation.

"This is basic science, and we need investigations like these to understand the fundamentals of our biology," Dougan said. "Once we have this understanding, we can begin to develop new therapies to treat diseases in new, more effective ways."


'/>"/>

Contact: Scott Dougan
dougan@uga.edu
706-583-8194
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers present comprehensive roadmap of blood cells
2. UT Southwestern ob/gyn researchers studying genetic factors in premature births
3. Researchers issue state-of-the-state on genetic-based testing & treatment for breast cancer
4. Miscarriage clues identified in new DNA test according to researchers at Montefiore and Einstein
5. Researchers uncover allergy-cancer connection
6. Vanderbilt diabetes researchers track cells ability to regenerate
7. Researchers devise new, stretchable antenna for wearable health monitoring
8. Researchers find high acceptability of 3-colored raspberry jelly
9. Motion and muscles dont always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study
10. New bilateral pilot opportunity will fund collaborations between US and UK bioscience researchers
11. Bucking conventional wisdom, researchers find black sea bass tougher than expected
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua ... software that simplifies the use and access of ... and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber ... and integrating the latest proven technology solutions," said ...
(Date:1/11/2016)...  higi, the leading retail and omni-channel community engagement ... and mobile, today announced it has closed funding ... --> --> ... higi,s health platform – its network of health ... expanding services and programs to retail partners and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president ... the progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development ... at 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, ... Healthcare Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation ... leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter to ... patients around the world, announced that CEO Dr. ... at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth ... on the company.  Conference Presentation ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property ... intellectual property, today provided an update on the Company,s ... of Texas and announcing that ... Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden ... initiated on only certain claims of two of the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Many of the engineers at FireflySci, ... What sets them apart from other cuvette manufacturers is their supercharged customer service ... On top of this steady flow of inside information, they have recently revamped ...
Breaking Biology Technology: