Roles of a Novel Gene

Lead researcher

Dr Wendy Cook

The University of Melbourne

Years funded

We are investigating the roles of a novel gene that is highly conserved in mammals but is unlike any other gene. We identified it because it is lost or silenced in many mouse leukaemias of myeloid cells, a subset of white blood cells. So we have provisionally named the gene Lmt, for Lost in Myeloid Tumours. Not surprisingly, one of its roles appears to be as a suppressor of leukaemia in normal myeloid cells. Lmt also seems to have a role in promoting growth of young mice, which suggests that the Lmt protein has a role in the production and/or delivery of growth factors to the growing body. Possibly related to this is a third function, promoting the development of obesity in old age. To understand better Lmt's role in leukaemia, we will re-express Lmt in leukaemic cells, and ask if it can indeed suppress the growth or induce suicide of the cells.To begin to understand Lmt's role in growth of mice, we will ask if it is expressed in the uterus during pregnancy, or in the breast tissue of lactating mothers. And we will explore its role in obesity by asking if it changes the rates of energy consumption or expenditure in the body.To gain an understanding of the biochemistry of Lmt in all of these functions, we will investigate where the protein is localized in or outside of cells, which biochemical pathways it uses, and which other proteins it interacts with.Most importantly, we will ask whether mutations of the human LMT gene are important in the development of leukaemia, or of hyperlipidaemia associated with Type II diabetes.

Funding Body

Cancer Council Research Grant

Award / Duration

Research Grant: 2007


$ 70,000