A group of researchers discovered a mutant zebrafish over 15 years ago. These zebrafish did not develop correctly. Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) have used this technique to understand the role of a protein in preventing cell death.
In an article titled, Banp regulates DNA damage response and chromosome segregation during the cell cycle in the zebrafish retina, and the findings are published in the journal eLife, and they may have significant implications for cancer treatment.
Banp, a Btg3-associated nuclear protein, was initially identified as a nuclear matrix-associated region (MAR)-binding protein, and it is acting as a tumor suppressor, according to the authors. Banp, however, is essential for the DNA damage response and chromosome segregation during mitosis.
Ichiro Masai, PhD, a leading researcher for the OIST developmental neurobiology group, has stated that it is essential for cell cell remodeling and to be successful in DNA repair. Moreover, the significance of the protein for regulating the cell cycle and assisting DNA repair has previously been hypothesized, but not rigorously tested.
Swathy Babu, a researcher at Stanford, examined the role that Banp played in regulating the cell cycle. Using the mutated fish, they discovered an extensive mutation on the banana gene. They took developing zebrafish that did not carry this mutation and introduced another mutation onto the Banp gene. This adds to the argument that Banp plays a crucial role in repairing DNA.
The researchers discussed how Banp appeared to promote the expression of 31 genes during cell proliferation. They compared these variables to those found in wild-type zebrafish. Banp suggested that the cell might utilize these mechanisms to repair the DNA during cell proliferation.
Banp appears to be a number of roles, influencing many different proteins, from DNA repair to cell duplication to tumor suppression, according to Babu.