Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Genes Cooperate To Cause Aggressive Leukemia

Date:
November 8, 2009
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Two genes, each one of which is known to cause cancer on its own, together can lead to aggressive leukemia. This is the conclusion from new research carried out on gene-modified mice by scientists in Sweden. The discovery has surprised scientists, and may lead to new treatments.

Two genes, each one of which is known to cause cancer on its own, together can lead to aggressive leukemia. This is the conclusion from new research carried out on gene-modified mice at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The discovery has surprised scientists, and may lead to new treatments.

The two genes are often present in mutated form in acute leukemias, but the mutations rarely occur together. Scientists have previously believed that the two mutated genes have exactly the same function: each one alone will lead to increased activity of a carcinogenic protein known as "RAS." This protein, in turn, causes blood cells to proliferate more rapidly.

"This is a surprising discovery that suggests that there is a mechanism behind the development of cancer that has not yet been recognised. It opens the way for new methods of fighting blood cancer cells with NF1 mutations," says Associate professor Martin Bergö, who leads the research at the Wallenberg Laboratory at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

One of the genes codes for the RAS protein, which is a known accelerator for cell proliferation in several forms of cancer. The other gene codes for a protein known as "NF1," which is known to reduce the activity of the RAS protein.

The research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy has previously used two different types of mouse models, one of them with the RAS-mutation and the other with the NF1-mutation. Both mutations individually cause a slowly progressing leukemia to develop in the mice. The research group has now combined the two animal models and shown that a very aggressive form of acute leukemia develops in mice with mutations in both genes.

"The corresponding increase in the RAS signalling cannot explain the severe increase in disease aggressiveness, and this means that the NF1 protein may play a different role in the development of the leukemia than we originally thought and may not involve the RAS protein at all. The discovery opens the possibility of developing new treatments for patients who have mutations in NF1," says Martin Bergö.

The research group is now collaborating with another research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy, investigating the role that the NF1 protein plays, and how these new results can lead to new treatment strategies.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Briony A. Cutts, Anna-Karin M. Sjögren, Karin M.E. Andersson, Annika M. Wahlström, Christin Karlsson, Birgitta Swolin and Martin O. Bergö. NF1 deficiency co-operates with oncogenic K-RAS to induced acute myeloid leukemia in mice. Blood, 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Two Genes Cooperate To Cause Aggressive Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102345.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2009, November 8). Two Genes Cooperate To Cause Aggressive Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102345.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Two Genes Cooperate To Cause Aggressive Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102345.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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