Navigation Links
An unexpected way to cause leukemia
Date:4/7/2008

Leukaemia cancer of blood or bone marrow is caused by mutations that allow defective blood cells to accumulate and displace healthy blood. To devise effective therapies it is crucial to know which mutations cause leukaemia and which cell type gives rise to leukaemic cells. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Italy, the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, UK, and the Universities of Harvard, USA, and Lund, Sweden, have now used genetic engineering to introduce a mutation found in human leukaemia patients into mice. In the current issue of Cancer Cell they report that the mutation causes leukaemia by triggering innate genetic programmes that allow white blood cells to proliferate uncontrollably. The findings have implications for the way leukaemia should be treated.

Blood is generated from a small number of multipotent stem cells that divide, differentiate and give rise to the many different cell types that make up the blood. At the same time they also maintain the pool of stem cells through a process called self-renewal. While differentiating, cells acquire specific properties and functions, but lose the capacity to self-renew in the way stem cells do. Mutations interfering with this process and promoting uncontrolled proliferation of certain blood cells can lead to leukaemia. Researchers of the group of Claus Nerlov at EMBLs Mouse Biology Unit now prove that a mutation in a protein called C/EBPa causes acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a type of leukaemia affecting one lineage of white blood cells, in mice.

10 percent of all patients suffering from AML have this mutation, but we could never be sure if it causes the disease. By precisely reproducing the human mutation in the mouse we now proved a causative relation, says Peggy Kirstetter, who carried out the research in Nerlovs lab.

Instead of promoting uncontrolled proliferation of malignant blood stem cells, as often assumed as the cause of leukaemia, the mutation acts on already partially differentiated cells. It reprogrammes these cells to self-renew and to produce countless dysfunctional daughter cells, which displace the healthy blood cells, eventually leading to the inability to transport oxygen around in the body.

This is the first time that non-stem cell myeloid leukaemia has been generated within a healthy blood system. The findings will have profound implications for our understanding of the development and treatment of leukaemias, says Nerlov.

Scientists always thought that the mutation was the crucial step leading to leukaemia that should be targeted by drugs. Nerlov and colleagues identified a genetic programme activated in self-renewing leukemic cells, which is shared with similar leukaemias caused by other types of mutations. The findings suggest that the cellular changes that lead to self-renewal are mutation-independent. To develop drugs with a more general efficacy it may therefore be more efficient to target the molecules and pathways shared between different cancer stem cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
49-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Longer flu season and unexpected strains make prevention plan key
2. LA BioMed researcher says unexpected increase in cancer risk found
3. Leicester scientist announces unexpected and exciting advance in study of cancer type
4. Men Are Vein Too: Innovative Treatment Sparks Unexpected Consumer Trend
5. Health effects of pesticide mixtures: Unexpected insights from the salmon brain
6. How to Survive an Unexpected Trip to the Hospital During Christmas and New Years
7. Treatment with an anti-psychotic drug found to cause changes in metabolism earlier than expected
8. Does raising the terrorism alert level cause undue stress?
9. Molecular Cause of Breast Cancer Metastasis Discovered
10. New Welsh Self-Test to Cure Glaucoma, the Leading Cause of Preventable Blindness
11. Scientists Isolate Organism That Causes Disfiguring Tropical Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... ... ... PATH and the Siemens Foundation today announced a new initiative—the Siemens ... technologies for low-resource settings. The partnership will recruit top students from U.S. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , ... http://www.fdanews.com/cdrhenforcementtrends , As Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn ... 2015 will show what to expect when they come knocking this year. But that takes ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association ... CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country are ... action, learn more about their chosen field and network with their colleagues. As ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker ... Red Carpet Events LA GRAMMY’s Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and ... hydrated before the big event. The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Appleton, Wis. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... its second Lean Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April ... to practice new behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , 12 februari 2016 ... een toonaangevende leverancier van productie en ontwikkeling ... industrieën, kondigt vandaag een uitbreiding aan van ... haar locatie in Charleston, SC ... geleid tot meerdere recente investeringen. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- The primary goal of this research is to ... usage of liquid biopsy. Key information the survey seeks ... of liquid biopsy adoption amidst future users - Predominantly ... - Sample inflow to conduct liquid biopsy tests - ... so on. - Correlation analysis of sample type and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Walgreens has committed to provide drug ... Washington, D.C. as part of a ... commended by shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow. ... "Many people hold on to unneeded drugs because they lack ... consequences." --> Conrad MacKerron , Senior Vice ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: