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Investigation of novel cell functions of ARHGAP21 and ANKHD1 proteins


Among the various Genome Projects developed in Brazil, the Human Cancer Genome Project stands out. This project is of great value, given that many new genes found altered in cancer were identified. Over the last few years our research group has been characterizing several novel genes, based on a search of the ORESTES data base, generated from the Human Cancer Genome Project, for ESTs similar to known cytoskeletal proteins (or related proteins). One of these genes encodes the Rho TPase-Activating Protein 21 (ARHGAP21), a member of the RhoGAP family of proteins that has received much attention since first being described by our group in 2002. Ankyrin repeat and KH domain-containing protein 1 (ANKHD1) is such another protein. It is ubiquitously expressed in normal human tissues and with a varied and high expression in cancer, including acute leukemia. There are two distinct aims for this collaborative project. First, we will evaluate ARHGAP21 localization in stromal cells submitted to different conditions and the role of a-catenin pathway in its subcellular translocation. Moreover, we will investigate the expression/activation of proteins belonging to the RhoA and RhoC signalling pathway in cells with ARHGAP21. (AU)