Negative Control of Cell Proliferation by Mats Proteins

Project: Research project

Project Details


PI: Lai IBN-0348262 Regulated cell proliferation is essential for normal development of all organisms. Negative regulators play an important role in various cell cycle checkpoints to block cell proliferation. Studies on such negative regulators have greatly advanced our knowledge of cell cycle control and developmental mechanisms and represent a key area of future research in this field. Dr. Lai's laboratory has recently discovered a novel family of Mats proteins, whose function has not been previously studied. The Drosophila Mats (dMats) gene is essential for early development. Loss of dMats function in somatic clones results in cell over-proliferation and dramatic outgrowth in mosaic flies. Importantly, this highly conserved Mats gene family includes two human Mats genes, hMats1 and hMats2. When introduced into Drosophila Mats mutants, hMats1 can rescue the cell over-proliferation phenotype, which indicates that the growth inhibitory function of Mats has been conserved in evolution. In this project, Dr. Lai plans to elucidate the role of dMats in regulating cell proliferation through more detailed mutant analysis as well as characterization of dMats expression during the cell cycle and normal development. Moreover, mechanisms by which the dMats protein acts to inhibit cell proliferation will be investigated through molecular and genetic approaches. Results from this study are expected to shed new light on regulatory mechanisms that control cell proliferation and development. Because Mats is highly conserved in evolution, elucidation of its role in cell cycle control using the Drosophila system will help in understanding how Mats function is required in higher organisms such as humans.

Effective start/end date1/1/0412/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $260,000.00


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