Identification of Molecular and Cellular Contributions to Neurofibroma Formation and Growth: The role of Schwann cells
Neurofibromas are benign tumors of the peripheral nerves, strongly associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) syndrome. In NF1, both copies of the NF1 gene in Schwann cells (SC) lose their function to regulate the Ras family of oncogenic proteins. In these cases, tumorigenesis and disruptions between SC and the neuron may occur. In Dr. Nancy Ratner’s previous research, her team created mouse models, including one that showed neuron-SC disruption and a second that displayed both neuron-SC disruption and dermal and plexiform neurofibroma formation.