NKX3.1, a protein that suppresses the development of prostate tumors, promotes the growth of a different type of tumor in the blood, according to a new study.
The research was published online on September 20 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Paul-Henri Romeo and colleagues find that TAL1, a protein abundantly expressed in approximately 40% of patients with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), drives expression of NKX3.1. Eliminating NKX3.1 halted the growth of TAL1-expressing T-ALL cells in culture and after injection into mice.
It's not yet clear how NKX3.1 sustains the growth of T-ALL cells, but these findings show that this protein can either halt or hasten tumor development depending on the tissue environment.
- S. Kusy, B. Gerby, N. Goardon, N. Gault, F. Ferri, D. Gerard, F. Armstrong, P. Ballerini, J.-M. Cayuela, A. Baruchel, F. Pflumio, P.-H. Romeo. NKX3.1 is a direct TAL1 target gene that mediates proliferation of TAL1-expressing human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2010; 207 (10): 2141 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20100745
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