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UNC researchers discover 'master regulator' role for little-known protein in cancer cells
Date:4/29/2014

function was less understood at that time.

Choudhury and colleagues designed a series of experiments to find that DAZAP1 binds to a number of other proteins in the cell nucleus and promotes alternative splicing. By studying the cascade of intracellular interactions stemming from DAZAP1's splicing function, Choudhury and colleagues determined that DAZAP1 was associated with the regulation of many genes that are involved in the creation of DNA, the synthesis of RNA, and the proliferation of cells all of which are vital for cancer cells to proliferate and spread. More importantly, Choudhury and colleagues found that DAZAP1 directly links the regulation of gene splicing with the MAP kinase pathway a key signaling pathway that controls cell proliferation.

"Why this protein is found in cancer cells is still a mystery," Choudhury said. "But we now know that when DAZAP1 is overexpressed, the growth of cancer cells slows down significantly. We need to learn much more, but further research could lead to a drugable target."


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Contact: Mark Derewicz
mark.derewicz@unch.unc.edu
919-923-0959
University of North Carolina Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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