The MORC family: new epigenetic regulators of transcription and DNA damage response

Epigenetics. 2013 Jul;8(7):685-93. doi: 10.4161/epi.24976. Epub 2013 May 17.


Microrchidia (MORC) is a highly conserved nuclear protein superfamily with widespread domain architectures that intimately link MORCs with signaling-dependent chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation. Accumulating structural and biochemical evidence has shed new light on the mechanistic action and emerging role of MORCs as epigenetic regulators in diverse nuclear processes. In this Point of View, we focus on discussing recent advances in our understanding of the unique domain architectures of MORC family of chromatin remodelers and their potential contribution to epigenetic control of DNA template-dependent processes such as transcription and DNA damage response. Given that the deregulation of MORCs has been linked with human cancer and other diseases, further efforts to uncover the structure and function of MORCs may ultimately lead to the development of new approaches to intersect with the functionality of MORC family of chromatin remodeling proteins to correct associated pathogenesis.

Keywords: DNA damage response; MORC; chromatin remodeling; epigenetic regulation; transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Multigene Family*
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Nuclear Proteins