Sunday 11 July 2010
Cancer Research UK Press Release
A completely new mechanism that leads to the development of a certain type of leukaemia could eventually be targeted by new treatments, according to research published in Nature Immunology today (Sunday)1.
Researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, the BBSRC and the Medical Research Council, discovered that when two genes are missing from mice they develop an aggressive form of leukaemia, similar to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia2 in humans.
The two genes produce ‘silencer’ proteins that normally neutralise a group of cell messengers once they have successfully delivered their message to the cell’s machinery responsible for growth.
Without the ‘silencer’ proteins the messenger continues to deliver its message without any control. In this research the target messenger controls the production of a protein called Notch1, which plays a key role in the development of a type of white blood cell. Without the silencers, higher levels of Notch1 are produced than is needed for normal growth, causing the cells to grow out of control, leading to leukaemia.
To see the full report click HERE to view the Cancer Research Website.