MORC3 is a chromosome 21 encoded gene linked to inflammatory muscle diseases and cancer; however, its role in normal cell physiology and disease is poorly understood. Here, Drs. Forest Andrews and Tatiana Kutateladze evaluate the expression of MORC3 in trisomy 21 cells and human samples, and perform detailed genetic, biochemical, and structural analyses of MORC3. They found that MORC3 is significantly upregulated in Down syndrome, describe a mechanism by which MORC3 interacts with histones, and show that MORC3 has ATPase activity enhanced by DNA. Their results suggest that MORC3 may play an important role in human disease, as well as Down syndrome.
Multivalent Chromatin Engagement and Inter-domain Crosstalk Regulate MORC3 ATPase. Andrews FH, Tong Q, Sullivan KD, Cornett EM, Zhang Y, Ali M, Ahn J, Pandey A, Guo AH, Strahl BD, Costello JC, Espinosa JM, Rothbart SB, Kutateladze TG. Cell Reports. 2016 Sep 20;16(12):3195-3207. PMID: 27653685.