Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Merlin Tells When To Grow And When To Stop

Date:
April 17, 2001
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
An international team of scientists lead by Dr. Peter Herrlich at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany has discovered how the tumor suppressor, merlin, functions. Mutations in merlin cause Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a common inherited disorder that features the predisposition to develop multiple benign tumors of the central nervous system.

An international team of scientists lead by Dr. Peter Herrlich at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany has discovered how the tumor suppressor, merlin, functions. Mutations in merlin cause Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a common inherited disorder that features the predisposition to develop multiple benign tumors of the central nervous system. Published in Genes & Development, this work delineates the pathway by which cells that are mutant in merlin become tumorigenic.

Related Articles


Cell density is one of several growth-limiting parameters. Normal cells proliferate until they occupy the space allotted to them, and stop proliferating once they contact other cells or a dense extracellular environment. Overcoming this contact growth inhibition is an integral aspect of cancer induction. Dr. Herrlich and colleagues have found that merlin is a key component of the mechanism by which a cell responds to contact inhibition.

Although previous studies have identified merlin as a negative regulator of cell growth, this paper is the first documentation of merlin’s specific role in the contact inhibition of growth. Under high cell density conditions, the extracellular portion of the cell membrane-spanning protein, CD44, binds to a specific component of the matrix that surrounds adjacent proliferating cells. Dr. Herrlich and colleagues have shown that once this occurs, merlin becomes desphosphorylated, and forms a tight bond with the intracellular portion of CD44. This activated form of merlin effectively blocks further cell proliferation.

The data presented in this paper has significant implications for the understanding of how merlin deficiency contributes to tumorigenesis. NF2 patients display multiple tumors derived from glial cells. This work suggests that because these glial cells lacked the merlin/CD44 growth regulatory switch, they were able to overcome contact growth inhibition. Although contact inhibition is only one form of cell growth regulation, the insight that Dr. Herrlich and colleagues have provided into the mechanism of contact growth inhibition will undoubtedly improve our understanding of cancer development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Merlin Tells When To Grow And When To Stop." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010415224232.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2001, April 17). Merlin Tells When To Grow And When To Stop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010415224232.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Merlin Tells When To Grow And When To Stop." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010415224232.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins