Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tumor mechanism identified

23.02.2010
Research identifies mechanism that makes cells become tumorous

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth (UK), the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Cornell University in New York, Weil Medical College in New York and the Center for Neural Tumour Research in Los Angeles, have for the first time identified a key mechanism that makes certain cells become tumorous in the brain. The resulting tumours occur most often spontaneously but can also occur in numbers as part of the inherited disease Neurofibromatosis type 2.

The research is published in the highly respected journal, Cell.

The tumours are caused by mutations affecting a protein called Merlin, which in turn causes cancers in a range of cell types including Schwann cells. Schwann cells produce the sheaths that surround and insulate neurons.

The new research investigates for the first time the role of Merlin in the cell nucleus. It explains how Merlin regulates cell proliferation, and how it regulates gene expression. Normally Merlin inhibits the development of tumours at a cell nucleus level – mutations affecting Merlin affect its ability to inhibit. By understanding this mechanism for the first time, the way is open for the development of effective therapies for a condition in which no treatment other than surgery exists.

In neurofibromatosis 2 the sheer number of the tumours can overwhelm a patient, often leading to severe disability and eventually death. Patients can suffer from 20 to 30 tumours at any one time, and the condition typically affects older children and young adults.

No therapy, other than invasive (radio)surgery aiming at a single tumour and which may not eradicate the full extent of the tumours, exists.

The condition of multiple tumours , neurofibromatosis type two (NF2), affects one in every 2,500 people worldwide. It can affect any family, regardless of past history, through gene mutation and currently there is no cure.

Professor Oliver Hanemann, who led the research from the Peninsula Medical School, commented: "This has been an exciting collaboration with colleagues in the United States resulting in a landmark publication. Until now, there has been no meaningful work on the role of Merlin in the nucleus. The results of our research show a greater understanding of the fundamental part played by Merlin in the repression of tumorous cells, and how this part is undermined when the protein is mutated. Identification of the difference in mechanisms will allow us to develop therapies for the future."

Andrew Gould | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pms.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>