Fighting cancer from first principles

Tiam1 and Efp are involved in the cell cycle and the development of skin and breast tumors.

Tudor Toma(t.toma@ic.ac.uk)
Jun 23, 2002

Understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression is seen as vital in the development of novel, efficient strategies in the fight against cancer. Two papers in 20 June Nature, describe the role of Tiam1 and Efp proteins in the cell cycle and tumorigenesis of skin and breast tumors.

Angeliki Malliri and colleagues at The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, generated mice lacking the Rac-specific activator Tiam1, a T-lymphoma invasion and metastasis inducing protein. They observed that these mice were resistant to the development of Ras-induced skin tumors and the few tumors they developed grew more slowly than those in wild-type mice. In addition, analysis of Tiam1 heterozygotes indicated that both tumor initiation and promotion were dependent on the Tiam1 gene dose. Tiam1 deficiency was associated with increased apoptosis during initiation, and with impeded proliferation during promotion (Nature 2002, 417:871-875).

In the second paper, Tomohiko Urano...

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