"The role of growth factor receptors in central nervous system development and neoplasia"
Neurosurgery 1995 Aug; 37(2):179-93; discussion 193
- Future advances in neuro-oncology will increasingly rely on an understanding of the molecular biology of brain tumors. Recent laboratory work, including the identification of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, has elucidated many of the molecular events contributing to oncogenesis. In particular, the signaling pathways for the growth factors have been implicated in the genesis and the maintenance of several human tumors, including neoplasms of the central nervous system (CNS). Growth factor autocrine and paracrine stimulatory loops promote tumor proliferation and angiogenesis. A family of structurally related growth factor receptors, the receptor tyrosine kinases, are particularly relevant to tumors of the CNS. This large family includes the receptors for the epidermal growth factor, the platelet-derived growth factor, the fibroblast growth factor, the insulin-like growth factor, the neurotrophins related to the nerve growth factor, and the vascular endothelial growth factor, as well as several receptors for which no growth factor ligand has been identified. Several of these receptor molecules and their growth factor ligands are preferentially expressed in the embryonic brain and are thought to play a central role in regulating the determination of the cell fate during the development of the CNS. Moreover, the overexpression or the mutation of genes encoding these receptors can be oncogenic. Researchers think that some receptors in this family (i.e., those that have been shown to be overexpressed or mutated in human brain tumors) contribute to brain tumor oncogenesis. This article will focus on recent experimental work and will discuss the classification and the biology of the receptor tyrosine kinases, as well as their roles in the development of the CNS and in tumorigenesis
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