The study, published today in the journal Cell Reports, explained p53's involvement in a molecular process specific to females called 'X chromosome inactivation'. The new findings helped to clarify why females are significantly more likely than males to be born with neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
The research, led by Associate Professor Anne Voss, Professor Andreas Strasser and Associate Professor Marnie Blewitt from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, was performed in collaboration with researchers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Teams - Gene - P53 - Literature - History
The collaborative teams were surprised to discover how the gene p53, famous throughout scientific literature and history for its role in protecting us from cancer, also played a pivotal role in healthy neural tube development.
Professor Strasser said the research showed how p53 influenced the function of genes required for fostering the production of healthy neural tube cells in the female embryo.
Healthy - Development - Process - P53 - Act
"Healthy development is a very precise and precariously balanced process. p53 helps with this balancing act in the female embryo by producing normal levels of Xist RNA, part of an intricate molecular process important for X chromosome inactivation. This in turn...
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