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 Polymers Based on Boron?
18.01.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production
18.01.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>