About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Genes Normally Expressed in The Retina are Involved in Medulloblastoma

by Chrisy Ngilneii on March 14, 2018 at 2:20 PM
Font : A-A+

Genes Normally Expressed in The Retina are Involved in Medulloblastoma

The normal cell death called 'apoptosis' that could reduce brain tumors in childhood cancer medulloblastoma, is prevented by genes expressed in the retina, recent research finds.

Medulloblastoma is treated with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which results in a survival rate of 80 percent, albeit with significant side effects. Group 3 medulloblastoma, associated with frequent rates of recurrence and a much lower survival rate, is characterized by the expression of a gene cluster named "photoreceptor program". Normally, these genes are only expressed in the retina, where they define photoreceptor identity and, in particular, ensure that light signals are converted into nerve impulses.

Advertisement


Given that they are not expressed during the normal development of the cerebellum, activation of these genes in medulloblastoma is very surprising. Aberrant differentiation programs - unrelated to the tissue in which the tumor originates - have already been found in other types of cancer but never thought to be directly involved in the tumor process.

Celio Pouponnot, CNRS researcher at the Institut Curie, together with Franck Bourdeaut, medical researcher at the Institut Curie, and Paul Northcott at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, United States, decided to examine the role this "photoreceptor program" could play in a medulloblastoma.
Advertisement

The presence of a protein known as NRL within this "photoreceptor program" initially drew the attention of Celio Pouponnot's team, which for many years has studied a family of proteins similar to NRL that is involved in the formation of cancers. Researchers also identified the role of another protein specific to the retina: CRX. Strikingly, this study shows that both these factors are involved in the medulloblastoma by activating key genes: CCND2, which promotes cell proliferation, and BCL2L1, which inhibits cell death (apoptosis).

The research team then used pharmacological agents to target these anti-apoptotic proteins in preclinical models by grafting human medulloblastoma cells into mice. This treatment shrunk the tumor and extended the lives of the mice, proving the potential of this therapeutic target. These results, however, cannot be directly transposed to children for whom such pharmacological agents could be toxic.

More generally, this study shows the potential benefit of studying signs of aberrant differentiations in cancer processes, highlighting a new area in cancer research.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Weaver Syndrome Test Your Knowledge on Artificial Intelligence 

Recommended Reading
Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are the abnormal growth of brain cells that may be benign or metastatic. Brain tumors ....
Brain Tumor in Children
An abnormal growth of cells in the brain is called brain tumor. Most tumors arise within the brain ...
Glioblastoma Multiforme
Glioblastomas are tumors that arise from astrocytes that make up the supportive tissue of the ......
Headache / Cephalgia
A headache literally means 'pain in the head'. It is a common complaint that may occur frequently .....
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use