While chronic inflammation is widely believed to be a predisposing factor for colon cancer, the exact mechanisms linking these conditions have remained elusive.
Scientists at the Melbourne Branch of the international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and the Technical University Munich have jointly discovered a new piece of this puzzle by demonstrating how the Stat3 protein links inflammation to tumor development, a discovery that may well lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for colon cancer.
Aberrant activation of the intracellular signaling protein, Stat3, has been associated with inflammation and several cancers, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. The results published on-line today in the journal Cancer Cell provide the first direct evidence confirming the role for Stat3 in inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. Using an inflammation-associated cancer model in genetically manipulated mice, the team identified a relationship between epithelial cell Stat3 activity and colonic tumor incidence, as well as tumor growth. They also determined that stimulation of Stat3 by the cytokines IL-6 and IL-11, chemicals produced by inflammatory and other tumor-associated cells, promotes both cell survival and growth of tumor cells.
The collaboration was sparked by discussions between Professors Matthias Ernst (LICR) and Florian Greten (Technical University Munich) at a scientific meeting, when they discovered they were both individually pursuing the mechanism by which Stat3 links inflammation to gastrointestinal cancers. Rather than compete, the two decided to join forces to discover the Stat3 connection between inflammation and colon cancer.
"Colon cancer is the second most frequent malignancy in the developed world so it was no surprise to find another group working on the Stat3 question and trying to find new ways to target colon cancer," said LICR's Professor Ernst, the joint senior author of the publication. "Together we've been able to learn how Stat3 bridges chronic inflammation and tumor promotion by mediating cell survival during an inflammatory event and enhancing tumor cell growth. Our new findings are very much in line with our previous work on the role of Stat3 in mediating inflammation- associated gastric cancer. We expect this knowledge to strengthen efforts for the development of therapeutics that target the link between inflammation and cancer to ultimately benefit the treatment of cancer patients."
Incidentally, the group of Professor Michael Karin from the University of California at San Diego, has reached similar conclusions in paper published in the same issue of Cancer Cell.
Sarah White, Ph.D. | EurekAlert!
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
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“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
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.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences