Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique role for blood formation gene identified

13.09.2007
Dartmouth Medical School research reveals new pathway for stem cell turnover

All blood cell production in adults depends on the steady work of a vital gene that if lost results in early bone marrow failure, Dartmouth Medical School cancer geneticists have found. Their research reveals an unexpected role for the gene in sustaining the adult blood-forming system, and opens novel strategies for targeting the gene, which is often involved in a type of childhood leukemia.

“We have identified a new pathway that is essential for blood stem cell turnover,“ said team leader Dr. Patricia Ernst, assistant professor of genetics and member of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The pathway could be exploited for treating a rare but aggressive infant leukemia, she added. These findings were reported in the September issue of Cell Stem Cell.

The investigators created a mouse model to track the function of a gene called MLL, which stands for Mixed Lineage Leukemia. The gene acts in bone marrow stem cells and controls key aspects of their growth to generate all the mature blood cells. If disrupted, it cannot work properly, and leukemia can ensue.

... more about:
»Adult »MLL »blood cell »leukemia

“MLL is the most commonly affected gene in childhood leukemia in children under a year of age; this particular type of leukemia has one of the worst success rates with the existing cancer therapies,” said Ernst, who first helped clarify the role of MLL as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard.

Many childhood leukemias result from mutations called translocations, where gene pieces on chromosomes accidentally relocate and misalign. In infant leukemia, the chromosome containing the MLL gene breaks within MLL and ends up fused to a different gene. MLL fusion genes likely co-opt normal MLL functions in blood cells, leading to the overproduction of white cells and leukemia.

Previous studies indicated that MLL is critical for embryonic blood stem cell development, but its role for the adult system was unknown. In their mouse model, the researchers found that bone marrow failure occurred as early as 14 days after they induced the experimental loss of MLL, demonstrating the crucial role of MLL as “necessary for both the development and maintenance of the body’s blood supply,” according to the researchers.

“We have shown that the adult blood-forming system depends on the continuous actions of MLL,” Ernst said. Moreover, with the mouse model the scientists established to define normal MLL functions, they can begin exploring how to craft new anti-cancer treatments, she pointed out. “We and other groups can start designing targeted therapies that inhibit cancerous forms of MLL that occur in childhood leukemia and do not affect normal MLL function, which, based on our studies in mice, would be fatal for the patient.”

Hali Wickner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dartmouth.edu

Further reports about: Adult MLL blood cell leukemia

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>