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ADAM-12 Gene Could Hold Key to Cancer, Arthritis and Cardiac Treatments

ADAM-12 is not only the name of a 1970’s television police drama – it’s also the gene that University of Missouri researchers believe could be an important element in the fight against cancer, arthritis, and cardiac hypertrophy, or thickening of the heart’s walls. 

Alpana Ray, research associate professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, and a team of researchers including Bimal Ray, professor of Veterinary Pathobiology, have been studying the ADAM family of genes for several years. Alpana Ray’s latest publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) discusses one pathway by which the ADAM-12 gene could be regulated, a process that could eventually be used as part of a treatment plan.

Scientists know that ADAM-12 is normally found in very low levels in adults, but during cancer, arthritis and cardiac hypertrophy, ADAM-12 level goes up.  The only time it is normal to find a high level of the gene is during pregnancy, when ADAM-12 can be found in the placenta.

 

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