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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2003 Feb;13(1):20-7.

Neurofibromatosis 1: closing the GAP between mice and men.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) is a common genetic condition in which affected individuals are prone to the development of benign and malignant tumors. The NF1 tumor suppressor encodes a protein product, neurofibromin, which functions in part as a negative regulator of RAS. Loss of neurofibromin expression in NF1-associated tumors or Nf1-deficient mouse cells is associated with elevated RAS activity and increased cell proliferation. Despite this straightforward pathophysiologic association between neurofibromin, RAS, and tumorigenesis, recent insights from mouse and Drosophila modeling studies have suggested additional functions for neurofibromin and have implicated Nf1 heterozygosity in tumor formation. Lastly, Nf1 knockout mouse studies have also demonstrated important roles for cooperating genetic changes that accelerate tumorigenesis as well as modifier genes that impact on cancer susceptibility.

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