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Molecular studies of vestibular schwannomas: a review.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA. brad.welling@osumc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

To summarize advances in understanding the molecular biology of vestibular schwannomas over the past year.

RECENT FINDINGS:

The role of the neurofibromatosis type 2 protein, denoted as merlin or schwannomin, in embryonic development, cellular adherence, and in cell proliferation has become better elucidated in the past year. Likewise, the role of merlin in Schwann cell-axon interaction has been studied. Additionally, two comprehensive analyses of the spectrum of human neurofibromatosis type 2 mutations have been compiled which make up a valuable resource in understanding critical regions of the neurofibromatosis type 2 gene. Neurofibromatosis type 2 screening guidelines for young patients with solitary vestibular schwannomas have been published. The role of electromagnetic radiation via cellular and portable telephones as a predisposing factor to vestibular schwannoma formation has also been the topic of several studies. Based on increased knowledge of the pathways in which merlin functions and the available transgenic and xenograft mouse models, preliminary data regarding directed pharmacotherapy are also summarized.

SUMMARY:

With increased knowledge of the pathologic mechanisms and interacting proteins associated with merlin, the research community is poised to begin trials of targeted interventions in vitro and in the current mouse models.

PMID:
17823551
DOI:
10.1097/MOO.0b013e3282b97310
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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