Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gut microbes promote cell turnover by a well-known pathway

07.10.2010
Biologists show good bacteria modulate an important signaling pathway where colorectal cancer takes root

Microbes matter -- perhaps more than anyone realizes -- in basic biological development and, maybe, they could be a target for reducing cancer risks, according to University of Oregon researchers.

In a study of very basic biology of zebrafish, scientists in the UO Institute of Molecular Biology focused on the developing intestine during its early formation in the sterile environment of its eggshell through the exposure to natural colonizing bacteria after hatching.

What they found was eye opening, said Karen Guillemin, professor of biology: Resident microbes in the still-maturing intestine send messages that promote non-disease-related cell proliferation in the same Wnt [pronounced went] signaling pathway where genetic mutations have long been known to give rise to colorectal cancer. The findings appeared online ahead of regular publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The complex Wnt pathway in the gut already is considered the starting point for more than 70 percent of sporadic colorectal cancers. In the study, researchers used normal zebrafish and those harboring mutations in the Wnt pathway. They were reared under germ-free conditions and then exposed under laboratory conditions to specific microbes to define how microbial signals interact with the Wnt pathway to promote cell proliferation in the gut.

"We were able to show that microbial signals do feed into and enhance signaling in the Wnt pathway. They feed in at a point after the node where most cancer-promoting genetic mutations occur," Guillemin said. "What this says is that for anyone who is at risk for developing cancer because they have these mutations, it matters what microbes these mutations are associated with. These two pieces of information contribute in parallel and feed into the same pathway."

The findings, she said, add fodder in an emerging shift in cancer research to look at the impact of microbes and other infectious causes of the disease. "It may be that associated microbes play as significant a role in cancer risk as genetic mutations," she said. "We need to learn more about the contributions of microbe signaling to cell proliferation. Maybe you could intervene with a targeted therapy. Even if you can't fix a mutation you might manipulate the associated microbes to change the interaction and reduce unwanted cell proliferation."

Genetic research on zebrafish – a high-priority model organism for the National Institutes of Health, which supported the project – began at the UO in the early 1970s. Guillemin, who recently received an early career investigator-scholar award from the NIH Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is known for her studies in zebrafish on the role of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Co-authors on the paper were Sarah E. Cheesman, who was supported by an NIH Research Service Award fellowship, doctoral student James T. Neal and research technicians Erika Mittge and Barbara M. Seredick.

In addition to the NIH, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund supported the research.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 63 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The UO is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu

Source: Karen Guillemin, associate professor of biology, 541-346-5999, kguillem@uoregon.edu

Links:
Guillemin web page: http://molbio.uoregon.edu/facres/guillemin.html
Institute of Molecular Biology: http://molbio.uoregon.edu/index.html

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uoregon.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>