Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tumor mechanism identified

Date:
February 22, 2010
Source:
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Summary:
Researchers have for the first time identified a key mechanism that makes certain cells become tumorous in the brain. The resulting tumors occur most often spontaneously but can also occur in numbers as part of the inherited disease neurofibromatosis type 2.

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 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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Tumor mechanism identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104949.htm>.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. (2010, February 22). Tumor mechanism identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104949.htm
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Tumor mechanism identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104949.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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