The Emerging Role of MORC Family Proteins in Cancer Development and Bone Homeostasis

Guoju Hong, Heng Qiu, Chao Wang, Gaurav Jadhav, Haibin Wang, Jennifer Tickner, Wei He, Jiake Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Microrchidia (MORC or MORC family CW-type zinc finger protein), a highly conserved nuclear protein superfamily, is an interesting new player in signaling-dependent chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation. MORC family proteins consist of MORC1, MORC2, MORC3, and MORC4 which display common structural determinants such as CW-type zinc finger and coiled-coil domains. They also exhibit unique structural motifs and tissue-specific expression profiles. MORC1 was first discovered as a key regulator for male meiosis and spermatogenesis. Accumulating biochemical and functional analyses unveil MORC proteins as key regulators for cancer development. More recently, using an ENU mutagenesis mouse model, MORC3 was found to play a role in regulating bone and calcium homeostasis. Here we discuss recent research progress on the emerging role of MORC proteins in cancer development and bone metabolism. Unravelling the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which MORC proteins carry out their functions in a tissue specific manner are important subjects for future investigation. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 928–934, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-934
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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