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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;14(2):78-85.

Tuberous sclerosis complex: from Drosophila to human disease.

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1
Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-9040, USA. Duojia.Pan@UTSouthwestern.edu

Abstract

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a human syndrome characterized by a widespread development of benign tumors. This disease is caused by mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 tumor suppressor genes; the molecular mechanisms underlying the activity of these have long been elusive. Recent studies of Drosophila and mammalian cells demonstrate that the TSC1-TSC2 complex functions as GTPase activating protein against Rheb - a Ras-like small GTPase, which in turn regulates TOR signaling in nutrient-stimulated cell growth. These findings provide a new paradigm for how proteins involved in nutrient sensing could function as tumor suppressors and suggest novel therapeutic targets against TSC. Here, we review these exciting developments with an emphasis on Drosophila studies and discuss how Drosophila can be a powerful model system for an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the activity of human disease genes.

PMID:
15102439
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2003.12.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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