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Cellular Quality Control

March 14, 2012

A newly discovered protein regulates the quality of our DNA.



Cellular quality control… I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A protein called p53 is often referred to as “the guardian of the genome” because it destroys cells with damaged DNA. If p53 is not active enough, cancer can result. Now, geneticist Haifan Lin and his colleagues at Yale University are studying how other molecules control the activity of p53. They’ve found that another protein, called Pumilo 1, controls many other molecules that in turn regulate how well p53 is at killing cells with bad DNA.

HAIFAN LIN (Yale University):

So Pumilo is really like a new boss that controls this entire team of regulators.


Lin says that Pumilo 1 is the cell’s way of controlling cellular reproduction efficiently. The researchers now plan to study Pumilo 1 as a potential target for drugs that could suppress the growth of cancers. He adds that Pumilo 1 may play a role in male infertility as well. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.