The study, published today in the open access journal BMC Biology, explains why humans with a defective copy of the Retinoblastoma gene RB1 are at high risk of developing cancer of the retina, or retinoblastoma, whereas mice with a similar genetic profile do not develop the cancer.
Stacy Donovan and Brett Schweers from St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, USA and colleagues from St Jude’s and from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, studied the expression of the Retinoblastoma proteins Rb (RB1 in humans), p107 and p130 throughout the development of mouse and human retinae, using molecular amplification and immunolabelling techniques.
Donovan et al. find that p107, Rb and p130 are expressed at different stages in the developing mouse retina, with p107 expressed first and Rb and 130 expressed during the late stages of development. The authors show that, in mutant mouse embryos that do not express Rb at all, the levels of p107 are much higher than in wild-type embryos at the same stage in development. The reverse situation is observed in mutant embryos that do not express p107. This suggests that Rb and p107 compensate for each other in retinal progenitor cells and prevent the deregulated proliferation of the cells that leads to retinoblastoma. By contrast, RB1 is the main protein expressed during retinal development in humans. The protein p107 is only slightly expressed during development and cannot compensate for the lack of RB1, which leads to retinoblastoma.
Juliette Savin | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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