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A roadblock to brain tumours

The growth of brain tumours is influenced by the microenvironment of the normal brain. Here, the authors unravel a microenvironmental signalling pathway involving secretion of neuroligin-3 (NLGN3) by normal neurons. NLGN3 is cleaved by extracellular proteases, stimulates oncogenic signalling in glioma cells and induces transcriptional changes. Inhibition of NLGN3 cleavage in the tumour microenvironment impairs the growth of brain tumour xenografts in vivo, suggesting that interfering with this pathway and with microenvironmental signalling in general is a potential therapeutic strategy for brain tumours.

Nature 549, 7673 table of contents

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