Recent advances in molecular genetics have enabled researchers to more rapidly identify human disease genes. The identification of these genes by positional cloning has opened the door to a better understanding of such diseases through a more complete appreciation of the molecular biologic processes that underlie them. In this review, the approaches taken to dissect the function of the gene for von Recklinghausen neurofibromatosis are presented. These general approaches involve identification of the protein product, determination of its relation to other known proteins, analysis of its distribution in tissues, within cells, and over development, and dissection of its role in producing the disease phenotype. Last, the insights gained from studying the molecular biology of the neurofibromatosis type 1 gene have direct impact on other biologic processes, such as neoplasia, cellular differentiation, and growth factor-mediated signal transduction as well as potential application to improved treatments for neurofibromatosis type 1 and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1193
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1993


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