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Protein discovery for complex congenital disorders and cancers

23Strands News
23Strands News October 06, 2021

Discovery on Protein BRD4 Function in Mice Marks Critical Step in Research to Treat Patients with Complex Congenital Disorders and Cancers

New research is advancing understanding of certain cancers and complex congenital disorders by illuminating how BRD4, a protein that scientists have studied for years, directs the spatial organization of DNA within the nucleus of the cell, a function critical for stem cell differentiation into muscle cells. Because how DNA folds is central to gene regulation, this study not only has implications that extend to a range of genetic conditions—including heart defects, cleft palate, microcephaly and intellectual disabilities—but will also better guide development of drug targets for BRD4, some of which are in clinical trials as promising therapeutic interventions to treat cancer and heart disease.