The role of RECQL4 gene in cancer predispositon

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Andrew Deans Personal web page

Project Details

Mutations in the RecQL4 gene have been linked with cancer predisposition and three rare genetic disorders: Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, Baller-Gerold syndrome and RAPADILINO syndrome. Each have distinct phenotypes but all 3 syndromes eventually develop cancer at a young age. The current hypothesis to explain this high cancer incidence is that the RecQL4 gene is critical for 2 major cellular processes: DNA replication and DNA repair. In many other inherited or spontaneous forms of cancer, defects in DNA replication or DNA repair lead to acceleration of cancer development.

Our lab studies the mechanisms of the RecQL4 protein using protein chemistry and cell-based approaches. This project will test RecQL4 mutations associated with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome in a set of assays so that we may determine how the mutations directly impair DNA replication and/or repair. The student will utilize a state-of-the-art protein expression system to produce the RecQL4 proteins, and test their biochemical function compared to wild-type protein. Mouse models of Rothmund-Thomson syndrome are also available to test the findings from the in vitro work, at the cellular and whole organism level.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Genome Stability Unit.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Genome stability unit

Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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