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Neurofibromatosis type 2.

Neurofibromatosis type 2 is an often devastating autosomal dominant disorder which, until relatively recently, was confused with its more common namesake neurofibromatosis type 1. Subjects who inherit a mutated allele of the NF2 gene inevitably develop schwannomas, affecting particularly the superior vestibular branch of the 8th cranial nerve, usually bilaterally. Meningiomas and other benign central nervous system tumours such as ependymomas are other common features. Much of the morbidity from these tumours results from their treatment. It is now possible to identify the NF2 mutation in most families, although about 20% of apparently sporadic cases are actually mosaic for their mutation. As a classical tumour suppressor, inactivation of the NF2 gene product, merlin/schwannomin, leads to the development of both NF2 associated and sporadic tumours. Merlin/schwannomin associates with proteins at the cell cytoskeleton near the plasma membrane and it inhibits cell proliferation, adhesion, and migration.

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