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J Cell Biochem. 2008 Feb 1;103(2):369-82.

Pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): progress and current challenges.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a rare lung disease, is characterized by the progressive proliferation, migration, and differentiation of smooth muscle (SM)-like LAM cells, which lead to the cystic destruction of the lung parenchyma, obstruction of airways and lymphatics, and loss of pulmonary function. LAM is a disease predominantly affecting women and is exacerbated by pregnancy; only a lung transplant can save the life of a patient. It has been discovered that in LAM, somatic or genetic mutations of tumor suppressor genes tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (TSC1) or TSC2 occur and the TSC1/TSC2 protein complex functions as a negative regulator of the mTOR/S6K1 signaling pathway. These two pivotal observations paved the way for the first rapamycin clinical trial for LAM. The recent discoveries that TSC1/TSC2 complex functions as an integrator of signaling networks regulated by growth factors, insulin, nutrients, and energy heightened the interest regarding this rare disease because the elucidation of disease-relevant mechanisms of LAM will promote a better understanding of other metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. In this review, we will summarize the progress made in our understanding of TSC1/TSC2 cellular signaling and the molecular mechanisms of LAM; we will also highlight some of the lesser explored directions and challenges in LAM research.

PMID:
17541983
DOI:
10.1002/jcb.21419
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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