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Scientists Successfully Track Down a Mysterious Gene

By Aazam

October 27, 2022

The Netherlands Cancer Institute's Thijn Brummelkamp research group has found another mystery gene that ensures the final form of actin, a critical component of our cell skeleton

Cell biologists are particularly interested in actin, one of the most common molecules in cells and a key component of the cell skeleton

It is found in large amounts in all cell types and gives cells structure and firmness, aids cell division, propels cells forward, and strengthens muscles

Brummelkamp was the first to inactivate genes on a large scale in human cells twenty years ago for his genetics research

Because mutations usually occur in only one gene version, this combination of two genes forms the basis of our existence but also creates unwanted noise in genetics experiments

He has shown how Ebola, other viruses, and some chemotherapy enter cells

He also investigated why cancer cells resist certain therapies and found a protein in cancer cells that slows the immune system

Brummelkamp postdoc Peter Haahr conducted the following experiment: He started by mutating random haploid cells

He then added a fluorescently labeled antibody to his cells that fit in the amino acid cutoff spot to select the cells with immature actin

ACTMAP is not the first mystery gene discovered by Brummelkamp that plays a role in cell skeleton function. His goal is to map out the function of all 23,000 genes one day