Neuroblastoma is an embryonal tumor that arises in the peripheral sympathetic nervous system and accounts for ~15% of cancer-related deaths in childhood. Recent research has uncovered two main classes of mutations in high-risk neuroblastoma: those activating ALK (8-10%) and microdeletions involving the PTPRD locus (6-10%). I recently discovered that activated ALK can cooperate with MYCN to induce neuroblastoma in zebrafish by inhibiting cell death (Zhu S et.al., Cancer Cell). I have now found that loss of Ptprd also accelerates the induction of neuroblastoma, but in a different way than does activated ALK. Briefly, loss of Ptprd induces neuroblastoma in both sympathetic ganglia and interrenal gland, an effect I have never observed with activated ALK.
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