The paper, "PTEN-deficient intestinal stem cells initiate intestinal polyposis" was posted to the Nature Genetics Web site on January 21.
The theory that cancer stem cells initiate and drive cancer cell growth has been gaining popularity in both clinical and basic research. Recent studies have identified cancer stem cells and shown that they may cause tumors when transplanted into a secondary host. Until now, however, little was known about the process by which mutations in a stem cell result in primary tumor initiation.
The Li Lab team studied the intestinal system in mice in which one of the human tumor suppressor genes, PTEN, had been deleted. They found that the PTEN/Akt pathway likely regulates stem cell activation by helping control nuclear localization of beta-catenin, the Wnt pathway effector, through phosphorylation of beta-catenin -- including Serine552.
"We found that a loss of PTEN in intestinal epithelial cells accompanied by a loss of PTEN in stromal cells can lead to changes that may increase the number of stem cells and change their position or location," said Dr. Li. "These changes result in crypt fission and budding and can lead to intestinal polyposis and uncontrolled tumor growth."
"All of us were very excited to be part of these efforts to reveal basic features of cancer stem cells," said Dr. He. "What we learned -- that cancer stem cells are a rare population in the tumor mass; that they are slow cycling but more active than normal stem cells; and that cancer stem cells and stromal insertions initiate the process of primary tumorigenesis -- will be influential in our future work."
"Findings from the Li Lab create opportunities to further characterize cancer stem cells and to obtain their molecular signature -- providing important insight into targeting these cells," said Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., Scientific Director. "This is a fascinating new area of cancer research, and Linheng Li and his colleagues will continue to make important contributions."
Marie Jennings | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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