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Peter A. Greer

  Proto-oncogene Function

  Contact Information:  
  Assistant Professor of Biochemistry,
Associate Professor of Pathology
B.Sc., Ph..D., McGill University;
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Mount Sinai Research Institute;
Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar

Tel: (613) 533-2813
Fax: (613) 533-6830
email: greerp@post.queensu.ca

  Proto-oncogenes are thought to play key roles in regulating cellular proliferation and differentiation, both during embryonic development and in the adult. These genes encode proteins with diverse biochemical functions including growth factors, receptors, nucleotide binding proteins, protein kinases, and transcription factors. These molecules appear to be the major regulatory components of cellular signal transduction networks. It follows that mutations arising in proto-oncogenes could contribute to cancer and other diseases by disrupting the normal signalling pathways in the cell. Transgenic technology enables us to manipulate proto-oncogenes within the context of the mouse genome. This has allowed us to create animal models of known human genetic diseases and to study the function of genes whose involvement in cancer is suspected. Using strategies such as homologous recombination in mouse embryonic stem cells and DNA microinjection of mouse embryos, our laboratory is generating transgenic mice designed to determine the in vivo function of genes encoding protein-tyrosine kinases. We are also using the zebrafish as another vertebrate model system for examining the function of genes encoding protein-tyrosine kinases. We have cloned a number of zebrafish tyrosine kinase-encoding genes and are currently examining their expression patterns during embryogenesis.

  Craig, AW.B., Zirngibl, R., Williams, K., Cole, L.A. and Greer, P.A. 2001. Mice devoid of Fer protein-tyrosine kinase activity are viable and fertile, but display reduced cortactin phosphorylation. Molecular and Cellular Biology 21: 603-13

Zirngibl, R., Schulze, D., Mirski, S.E.L, Cole, S.P.C, and Greer, P.A. 2001 Subcellular localization analysis of the closely related Fps/Fes and Fer protein-tyrosine kinases suggests a distinct role for Fps/Fes in vesicular trafficking. Experimental Cell Research 266:87-94

Arthur, J., Elce, J., Hegadorn, C., Williams, K. and Greer, P. 2000 Disruption of the Murine Calpain Small Subunit Gene, Capn4: Calpain is Essential for Embryonic Development but not for Cell Growth and Division. Mol. Cell. Biol.20:4474-4481

Senis Y, Zirngibl R, McVeigh J, Haman A, Hoang T, Greer PA. 1999 Targeted disruption of the murine fps/fes proto-oncogene reveals that Fps/Fes kinase activity is dispensable for hematopoiesis. Mol Cell Biol. 19:7436-46