Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors: Mutated stem cell 'goes wild' in frenzied tumor expansion

Date:
May 4, 2012
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Fibroid uterine tumors affect an estimated 15 million women in the United States, causing irregular bleeding, anemia, pain and infertility. Despite the high prevalence of the tumors, the molecular cause has been unknown. Scientists for the first time have identified the molecular trigger of the tumor -- a single stem cell that develops a mutation, starts to grow uncontrollably and activates other cells to join its frenzied expansion.

Fibroid uterine tumors affect an estimated 15 million women in the United States, causing irregular bleeding, anemia, pain and infertility. Despite the high prevalence of the tumors, which occur in 60 percent of women by age 45, the molecular cause has been unknown.

Related Articles


New Northwestern Medicine preclinical research has for the first time identified the molecular trigger of the tumor -- a single stem cell that develops a mutation, starts to grow uncontrollably and activates other cells to join its frenzied expansion.

"It loses its way and goes wild," said Serdar Bulun, M.D., the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "No one knew how these came about before. The stem cells make up only 1 percent of the cells in the tumor, yet they are the essential drivers of its growth."

The paper is published in the journal PLoS ONE. Masanori Ono, M.D., a post-doctoral student in Bulun's lab, is the lead author.

The stem cell initiating the tumor carries a mutation called MED12. Recently, mutations in the MED12 gene have been reported in the majority of uterine fibroid tissues. Once the mutation kicks off the abnormal expansion, the tumors grow in response to steroid hormones, particularly progesterone.

For the study, researchers examined the behavior of human fibroid stem cells when grafted into a mouse, a novel model initiated by Northwestern scientist Takeshi Kurita, a research associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. The most important characteristic of fibroid stem cells is their ability to generate tumors. Tumors originating from the fibroid stem cell population grew 10 times larger compared to tumors initiated with the main cell population, suggesting a key role of these tumor stem cells is to initiate and sustain tumor growth.

"Understanding how this mutation directs the tumor growth gives us a new direction to develop therapies," said Bulun, also the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Masanori Ono, Wenan Qiang, Vanida Ann Serna, Ping Yin, John S. Coon, Antonia Navarro, Diana Monsivais, Toshiyuki Kakinuma, Matthew Dyson, Stacy Druschitz, Kenji Unno, Takeshi Kurita, Serdar E. Bulun. Role of Stem Cells in Human Uterine Leiomyoma Growth. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (5): e36935 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036935

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors: Mutated stem cell 'goes wild' in frenzied tumor expansion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120504172101.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2012, May 4). A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors: Mutated stem cell 'goes wild' in frenzied tumor expansion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120504172101.htm
Northwestern University. "A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors: Mutated stem cell 'goes wild' in frenzied tumor expansion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120504172101.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
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