A naturally occurring COX-2 inhibitor
Cancer researchers at the Case Western Reserve University (Case) School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found a "Celebrex-like" gene that suppresses the growth of colon cancer. The researchers discovered that the gene, called 15-PGDH, is found in normal cells and is virtually undetectable in colon cancer cells. When the researchers restored the gene in tumor cells and injected them into immune-deficient mice, the mice showed little or no tumor development. The study appears in the Dec. 14 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The gene 15-PGDH acts as an antagonist to control an enzyme called COX-2. An increase in COX-2 is a major early event in the genesis of human colon tumors.
Sanford Markowitz, M.D., the Francis Wragg Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics at Case and UHC and senior author of the paper, said, "This gene may represent the first of a one-two punch in colon cancer. In colon cancers a dramatic increase of COX-2 is seen. 15-PGDH would act to antagonize and check this increased COX-2 activity. Without 15-PGDH present,unchecked COX-2 goes on to cause abnormal changes on the cellular level, which may lead to tumor development."
George Stamatis | EurekAlert!
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