Skip to main content

Groundbreaking CTF-funded NF2 Research Published in Top Journal ‘Cancer Cell’

By April 20, 2011December 18th, 2023Awareness, NF2-SWN, Science & Research

The April 12 issue of the journal Cancer Cell reports the exciting findings uncovering how the NF2 protein Merlin functions, and suggesting Merlin could be involved in many other types of cancer. This research was funded in part by the Children’s Tumor Foundation to Dr. Chunling Yi in the research group. Senior author Dr. Joe Kissil is a past recipient of the CTF Drug Discovery Initiative Award; and preliminary findings of this work were presented at the CTF 2010 NF Conference.

The researchers describe, for the first time, that Merlin, the protein encoded within the NF2 gene interacts with a protein called angiomotin which has a key role in cell movement in the formation of new blood vessels. This connection between Merlin and angiomotin also brings together two important information networks in cells, both of which have been implicated in numerous forms of cancer.

Dr, Kissil says,”The discovery opens up a potential new method to treat NF2 by attacking the tumor cells directly and by starvation, a strategy already employed in certain cancer therapies.” This is different than drugs like Avastin, which shrinks blood vessels; angiomotin is used by both blood vessels and the growing tumor cells, so targeting this with drugs could be a ‘double whammy’.

The Kissil laboratory plans to continue their exploration of angiomotin as a potential therapeutic target for treating NF2, as well as look into the role of angiomotin in other cancers known to be affected by NF2 mutations.

Leave a comment