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Leuk Res. 2009 Jul;33(7):883-5. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2009.02.013. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

New insights into the role of the tuberous sclerosis genes in leukemia.


The genes TSC1 and TSC2, encoding hamartin and tuberin, respectively, have been shown to be involved in the development of the autosomal dominantly inherited tumor syndrome tuberous sclerosis (TSC). However, inactivation of these genes has also been demonstrated to be associated with sporadic bladder cancer, ovarian and gall bladder carcinoma, non-small-cell carcinoma of the lung, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, astrocytoma, xanthoastrocytoma, ependymomas, oral squamous cell carcinoma and endometrial cancer. The hamartin/tuberin protein complex plays a central role in the regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling network. A wide variety of components of the mTOR cascade have been demonstrated to be involved in many different human cancers. Mutations in several mTOR pathway component genes are known to cause specific monogenic human genetic diseases and this signalling cascade has been shown to be of relevance for Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertrophy. Consequently, e.g. clinical trials for the treatment with rapamycin, a negative regulator of mTOR, of hamartomas in TSC have already been initiated. Now the first evidence is provided for an involvement of the TSC genes in acute leukemia.

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