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Mutat Res. 2006 Sep;613(1):10-6. Epub 2006 May 18.

The tuberous sclerosis genes and regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27.

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Medical Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant tumor syndrome that affects approximately 1 in 6000 individuals. It is characterized by the development of tumors, named hamartomas, in the kidneys, heart, skin and brain. The latter often cause seizures, mental retardation, and a variety of developmental disorders, including autism. This disease is caused by mutations within the tumor suppressor gene TSC1 on chromosome 9q34 encoding hamartin or within TSC2 on chromosome 16p13.3 encoding tuberin. TSC patients carry a mutant TSC1 or TSC2 gene in each of their somatic cells, and loss of heterozygosity has been documented in a wide variety of TSC tumors. Recent data suggest that functional inactivation of TSC proteins might also be involved in the development of other diseases not associated with TSC, such as sporadic bladder cancer, breast cancer, ovarian carcinoma, gall bladder carcinoma, non-small-cell carcinoma of the lung, and Alzheimer's disease. Tuberin and hamartin form a heterodimer, suggesting they might affect the same processes. Tuberin is assumed to be the functional component of the complex and has been implicated in the regulation of different cellular functions. The TSC proteins regulate cell size control due to their involvement in the insulin signalling pathway. Furthermore, they are potent positive regulators of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27, a major regulator of the mammalian cell cycle. Here we review the current knowledge on how mutations within the TSC genes could trigger deregulation of stability and localization of the tumor suppressor p27.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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