Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough: Gut bacteria drive growth of stem cells in colon cancer

05.04.2016

Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Germany. Prof. Dr. med. Sebastian Zeißig, group leader at the DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) - Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden and physician at the Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, has now shown a decisive role of gut bacteria in the regulation of intestinal stem cells and the development of colon cancer. This discovery promises new therapies not only for cancer but for promoting regeneration of the intestine, for example after chemotherapy.

The intestinal surface is a rapidly renewing tissue, whose regeneration is driven by stem cells. Damage of these intestinal stem cells, as observed upon chemotherapy, leads to impaired regeneration of the intestine and severe illness.


Prof. Dr. med. Sebastian Zeißig

© CRTD

On the other hand, genetic mutations that further promote the growth of intestinal stem cells are associated with uncontrolled organ regeneration and the development of colon cancer. Tight control of intestinal stem cells is therefore required to allow for regeneration but to prevent cancer.

Sebastian Zeißig’s group has now demonstrated that bacteria within the normal gut microbiota can invade the intestinal tissue and activate an enzyme in stem cells that facilitates stem cell growth and cancer development. This discovery could form the basis of novel therapies for the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

“In the future, bacteria engineered to block these pathways could potentially be used as probiotics which act in local manner in the intestine to inhibit the growth of colon cancer and to perhaps even prevent its development”, says Sebastian Zeißig.

Since stem cells are also critical for regeneration in the intestine, therapies that target these pathways may further help to design new drugs that reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other causes of intestinal damage.

With his research group at the CRTD, Zeißig has already started to engineer intestinal bacteria with the goal of influencing regeneration and cancer development in the intestine. Zeißig, who is also a practicing physician at the Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, adds “With its focus on stem cell biology and a close link to clinical medicine, the CRTD indeed offers a unique environment for physician scientists to develop new treatments for regenerative medicine and cancer therapy.”

Scientific publication:
"Epithelial calcineurin in the control of microbiota-dependent intestinal tumor development" (NMED-A75820A)
DOI 10.1038/nm.4072

Press Contact:
Franziska Clauß
Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 458 82065, e-Mail: franziska.clauss@crt-dresden.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.crt-dresden.de

Franziska Clauß | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>