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CTF Young Investigator Uncovers New Functions of NF2 Merlin Protein

By March 24, 2011December 18th, 2023Awareness, NF2-SWN, Science & Research

Timmy Mani, a Children’s Tumor Foundation 2008-2010 Young Investigator Award recipient, has published a paper in Molecular Cell Biology describing new findings that help understand how the NF2 protein merlin regulates cell growth. These findings were made during Timmy’s time as a CTF YIA in the lab of Dr. Wallace Ip at the University of Cincinnati.

It is known that merlin function requires it to bind to the interior of the cell membrane. Timmy’s research shows that a key player in making this binding happen is the phosphoinositide PIP2. When merlin protein is modified so that it can no longer bind PIP2, the cells grow uncontrollably. This finding suggests an important role for PIP2 in controlling cell growth and that PIP2 function will be an interesting area to explore in looking for new drug targets for NF2 therapies.