Navigation Links
UGA researchers explore function of cancer-causing gene

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
University of Georgia

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:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists ... "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, ... and wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from ... of Healthy Things . Long before health and ... Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating ... from the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data ... Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they can ... --> Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Muncie, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Aeronautics (AMA) and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized ... Mathewson and other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a ... North Carolina , today announced that the company has set ... represented a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of ... and Mexico , with the establishment ... in December 2015. --> United Kingdom ...
Breaking Biology Technology: