Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pathway for origin of most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor identified

Date:
June 13, 2012
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Researchers say they have discovered one of the most important cellular mechanisms driving the growth and progression of meningioma, the most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor. A report on the discovery could lead the way to the discovery of better drugs to attack these crippling tumors, the scientists say.

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered one of the most important cellular mechanisms driving the growth and progression of meningioma, the most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor. A report on the discovery, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Research, could lead the way to the discovery of better drugs to attack these crippling tumors, the scientists say.

Related Articles


"We are one step closer to identifying genes that can be targeted for treatment," says study leader Gilson S. Baia, Ph.D., a faculty research associate in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Baia and his team based their study on the knowledge that in roughly two-thirds of cases of meningioma, patients have a mutation in the NF2 tumor suppressor gene, an alteration that disrupts the expression of the protein called Merlin. Merlin, in turn, kicks off a cell signaling pathway called Hippo, and in the new study, Baia and his colleagues determined that if Merlin is missing, the Hippo pathway is disrupted. In normal development, Hippo controls the size of tissues and organs in the body. It is activated when tissue needs to grow and also acts as a brake on uncontrolled growth. ?If disrupted, a biochemical cascade produces uncontrolled tumor growth.

In meningioma cells, Baia studied the activation of a protein called YAP1, for Yes-associated protein 1, which is regulated by Hippo. Without it, YAP1 moves into the cell nuclei and activates genes whose products trigger tumorigenesis and cell proliferation.

In recent years, the Hippo pathway has been found to play a role in the growth of other types of cancers, but this is the first time the pathway has been implicated in meningioma, Baia says. YAP1 has also been implicated in other cancers, he says, including lung and ovarian malignancies, and the mutation in NF2 has been found in other, less common forms of brain cancers as well as in mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer mostly associated with exposure to asbestos.

In their research, the investigators collected 70 human meningioma tissue samples and found that YAP1 expression was present in the nuclei of all of the samples, regardless of tumor "grade," meaning it appears to be a molecular mechanism involved in the earliest stages of meningioma development. In the lab, Baia knocked down the amount of YAP1 in cell nuclei and found that tumor proliferation went down. When there was more YAP1, the cells grew and also migrated more.

Baia and his team also injected human cell lines in which YAP1 was overexpressed into the brains of the mice. "With excess YAP, all of the mice got tumors," Baia says.

The next step, Baia says, is to determine the exact genes activated by the arrival of YAP1 in the cell nuclei. Then, the hope is, new treatments can be developed to target those genes, he adds.

The research was supported by donations from Leonard and Phyllis Attman and the Meningioma Mommas Foundation.

Other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in the study include Otavia L. Caballero, M.D., Ph.D.; Brent A. Orr, M.D., Ph.D.; Janelle S. Y. Ho; and Gregory Riggins, M.D., Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. S. Baia, O. L. Caballero, B. A. Orr, A. Lal, J. S. Y. Ho, C. Cowdrey, T. Tihan, C. Mawrin, G. J. Riggins. Yes-Associated Protein 1 Is Activated and Functions as an Oncogene in Meningiomas. Molecular Cancer Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-12-0116

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Pathway for origin of most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613184019.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2012, June 13). Pathway for origin of most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613184019.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Pathway for origin of most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613184019.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
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