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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Trans receptor inhibition of human glioblastoma cells by erbB family ectodomains.

Our aim has been to understand the features of erbB receptor homo- and heterodimer assembly to develop approaches to disrupt receptor activation. We have developed a general approach to cause erbB receptor-specific trans inhibition of human neoplasia. The clonal progression of human astrocytomas to a more malignant phenotype often involves the amplification and overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) gene. We have selectively targeted the EGFr in human glioblastoma cells with kinase-deficient mutants of the erbB family derived from the ectodomain of the Neu oncogene that are able to form heterodimers with EGFr and inhibit EGFr-dependent phenotypes. In EGFr-positive U87MG human glioblastoma cells, expression of the Neu ectodomain inhibits EGF-, but not platelet-derived growth factor-, induced DNA synthesis; inhibits cell proliferation in the presence of EGF, but not platelet-derived growth factor; inhibits the ability of U87MG to form colonies in soft agar; and inhibits transforming efficiency in athymic mice. These studies establish that EGFr-mediated signal transduction is important in the maintenance of malignant glioma, and that trans receptor inhibition is a novel way to abrogate abnormal growth of these tumors. Neu ectodomains will be useful in determining the manner in which the EGFr contributes to glial tumorigenesis and in the design of pharmaceuticals that disable erbB family oncoproteins. In addition, these studies provide a rationale for the application of the Neu ectodomain in gene therapy approaches to human malignant glioma and, potentially, to other systemic epithelial malignancies expressing erbB family receptors.[1]


  1. Trans receptor inhibition of human glioblastoma cells by erbB family ectodomains. O'Rourke, D.M., Qian, X., Zhang, H.T., Davis, J.G., Nute, E., Meinkoth, J., Greene, M.I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
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