Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Function of cancer-causing gene explored by researchers

Date:
March 26, 2014
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Developmental biologists 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.

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.

Related Articles


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 Franklin College of Arts and Sciences 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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. The original article was written by James Hataway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuhua Sun, Wei-Chia Tseng, Xiang Fan, Rebecca Ball, Scott T. Dougan. Extraembryonic Signals under the Control of MGA, Max, and Smad4 Are Required for Dorsoventral Patterning. Developmental Cell, March 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.01.003

Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Function of cancer-causing gene explored by researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326182240.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2014, March 26). Function of cancer-causing gene explored by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326182240.htm
University of Georgia. "Function of cancer-causing gene explored by researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326182240.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins