Protein Is Previously Unidentified Tumor Suppressor

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Friday, August 7, 2009

FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Phospholipase C (PLC)-β3, a cell signaling protein, also acts as a tumor suppressor and blocks the development of myeloproliferative disease and hematopoietic cancers, according to a study in the Aug. 4 issue of Cancer Cell.

Wenbin Xiao, M.D., from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in California, and colleagues studied the role of PLC-β3 in hematopoiesis and tumorigenesis using mice lacking the PLC-β3 gene.

The researchers found that the mice developed myeloproliferative disease, lymphoma and other tumors, and had more hematopoietic stem cells with increased proliferation, survival, and myeloid differentiation. Further investigation showed increased activation of a downstream signaling molecule, Stat5. The importance of the cancer gene c-myc in promoting B cell lymphomas was illustrated by the faster lymphoma development in mice lacking PLC-β3 with high c-Myc expression, and the low PLC-β3 expression in some Burkitt's lymphoma cells (which are caused by abnormal c-Myc expression).

"Thus, PLC-β3 is likely a tumor suppressor," Xiao and colleagues conclude. "The adaptor function of PLC-β3 seems essential to protect the hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic systems from tumor development."

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Internal Medicine
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