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St. Jude Finds Signaling System That Halts the Growth of a Childhood Brain Cancer
Date:3/14/2008

d Math1, which occurs in dividing GNPs, but not in non-proliferating neurons. Twelve hours after BMP treatment, researchers could detect no Math1 and cell growth soon stopped.

The exact way Math1 works remains unknown. However, in mice the protein is vital to the formation of a normal brain. Mice genetically altered so they do not carry the gene for Math1 failed to develop cerebella.

The St. Jude team also performed gene transfer experiments in mice to test BMPs as a possible medulloblastoma treatment. Using a genetically altered virus, scientists inserted the BMP gene into the cancer cells and showed that the transfer not only halted tumor growth, but induced the cancer cells to change into neurons.

Other authors of this study include Haotian Zhao, Olivier Ayrault and Frederique Zindy (St. Jude) and Jee-Hae Kim (Rockefeller University, New York).

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, a Cancer Core Grant, La Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale, the Gephardt Endowed Fellowship Signal Transduction and ALSAC.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit http://www.stjude.org.


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SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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