Genes, Retinoblastoma

Publication Title: 
Oncogene

Replicative senescence is thought to be a significant barrier to human tumorigenesis, which in human fibroblasts, and many other cell types, can be overcome experimentally by combined loss of function of p53 and Rb 'pathways'. To avoid the confounding pleiotropic effects of HPVE7 frequently used in such studies, here we have employed retroviral vectors over-expressing CDK4 or CDK6 as a more representative model of naturally-occurring mutations targeting the Rb pathway.

Author(s): 
Morris, Mark
Hepburn, Peter
Wynford-Thomas, David
Publication Title: 
Cancer Cell

The retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor is often inactivated in cancers. To identify genes that can be used to specifically target such cancers, we carried out a genetic screen in Drosophila. We identified gig (fly TSC2) and found that inactivation of rbf (fly Rb) and gig synergistically induced cell death. Interestingly, inactivation of TSC2 specifically kills Rb mutant cancer cells under stress conditions, which is correlated with an inhibition of tumor growth.

Author(s): 
Li, Binghui
Gordon, Gabriel M.
Du, Charles H.
Xu, Jinhua
Du, Wei
Publication Title: 
Oncotarget

Retinoblastoma (Rb), a tumor suppressor gene, is inactivated in many types of cancer. However little is known about how the loss of Rb function can be targeted in cancer therapies. We have identified that inactivation of TSC2 in Rb mutant cancer cells will induce a synergistic cell death. The synergistic cell death is due to an increase in cellular stress including metabolic, ER, and oxidative stress. Therefore, inactivation of TSC2 and chemothereputics that result in induction of cellular stress may be a novel and effective way to treat cancers containing inactivated Rb.

Author(s): 
Searle, Jennifer S.
Li, Binghui
Du, Wei
Publication Title: 
Cancer Letters

We showed previously that inactivation of TSC2 induces death in cancer cells lacking the Retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor under stress conditions, suggesting that inactivation of TSC2 can potentially be used as an approach to specifically kill cancers that have lost WT Rb. As Rb is often inactivated in cancers by overexpression of cyclin D1, loss of p16(ink4a) cdk inhibitor, or expression of viral oncoproteins, it will be interesting to determine if such functional inactivation of Rb would similarly sensitize cancer cells to TSC2 inactivation induced cell death.

Author(s): 
Danos, Arpad M.
Liao, Yang
Li, Xuan
Du, Wei
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