Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism Of Cell Type-specific Signaling In Tumor Development Discovered

Date:
April 15, 2009
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers have discovered the mechanisms behind two key checkpoints in cell growth and development -- factors that may ultimately allow investigators to benchmark progression of tumor cells or stop them from further development.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered the mechanisms behind two key checkpoints in cell growth and development — factors that may ultimately allow investigators to benchmark progression of tumor cells or stop them from further development. The findings appear in the current online issue of Developmental Cell.

The team led by Edward Leof, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic biochemist, demonstrated that p21-activated kinase 2 (PAK2), a key target for cancer growth and fibrotic tissue development, is activated in one type of tissue but not another. PAK2 is a downstream component of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling in mesenchymal cells — those that make up connective tissues in the body, as well as blood and lymphatic vessels. However, TGF-β is unable to activate PAK2 in epithelial cells — those that make up external and internal linings, such as skin and the internal lining of many vessels.

"We decided to look at the factors that prevented PAK2 activation in epithelial cells," says Dr. Leof. "We found that a protein called Erbin, in cooperation with the NF2 tumor suppressor Merlin, controls the outcome."

Erbin, the researchers found, controls the tumor suppressor gene Merlin. When Merlin is absent or mutated, the result is schwannoma, a form of tumor involving Schwann cells which make up the myelin sheath that covers nerves. Merlin has also been shown to play a part in causing melanoma, mesothelioma and possibly colorectal cancers.

The researchers showed that in epithelial cells, which have high levels of Erbin, the formation of an Erbin/Merlin complex prevents PAK2 activity following growth factor stimulation. In the absence of Erbin (or Merlin), however, TGF-β stimulates PAK2 activity in some epithelia, overcoming a critical checkpoint in tumor progression.

The findings are important, says Dr. Leof, because they delineate a process by which tumors might be formed and allow future researchers to pinpoint steps where interventions could not just gauge disease progression, but halt tumor growth. There is even the prospect of intervening before a tumor begins to form.

Others on the team are Mark Wilkes; Claire Repellin, Ph.D.; Min Hong, Ph.D.; Margarita Bracamonte, Ph.D.; and Sumedha Penheiter, Ph.D., all from Mayo Clinic; and Jean-Paul Borg, Ph.D., Marseille Cancer Institute, Inserm & Institute Paoli-Calmettes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wilkes et al. Erbin and the NF2 Tumor Suppressor Merlin Cooperatively Regulate Cell-Type-Specific Activation of PAK2 by TGF-β. Developmental Cell, 2009; 16 (3): 433 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.01.009

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Mechanism Of Cell Type-specific Signaling In Tumor Development Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174816.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2009, April 15). Mechanism Of Cell Type-specific Signaling In Tumor Development Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174816.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Mechanism Of Cell Type-specific Signaling In Tumor Development Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407174816.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
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