Feb 29, 2020

‘Guardian angel gene’ key to avoiding premature births

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Removal of an essential gene was a major contributor to preterm labor, according to recent research.

Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center started with a pathway linked to the tumor suppressor gene known as transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53), which encodes another protein: p53. Mutations of Trp53 are found in a variety of cancers, but the gene’s function in female reproduction and other normal physiological processes is not well understood. The role of p53, sometimes referred to as the “guardian angel gene,” is to help preserve genetic stability and prevent mutation.

The researchers targeted certain signaling pathways that function both in pregnancy and during the formation of cancerous tumors. During pregnancy, the pathways are usually tightly regulated. In tumor development, however, they can become dysfunctional.

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