OCRFA Research Finds New Gene Mutation Spurs Cancer Growth

An OCRFA funded study, published on January 13, 2017 in Oncotarget, sheds light on EMSY, a gene that researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center now understand to have a role similar to those of BRCA1 and BRCA2. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are well known genes that, when working, help with DNA damage repair, which protects the body against cancers. When they are defective, or mutated, that repair process fails and allows cancers to grow. Overly active EMSY, like mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2, blocks the DNA damage repair process. This may explain why why some women with healthy, functional BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are still developing cancer. One of the ways EMSY is different than the BRCA genes is that it can be affected by protein kinase A, an enzyme. When EMSY is over-active, protein kinase A reacts with EMSY to suppress DNA pair even more.