Navigation Links
A gene for metastasis
Date:8/27/2007

Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the Western world. The tumor starts off as a polyp but then turns into an invasive and violent cancer, which often spreads to the liver. In an article recently published in the journal Cancer Research, Prof. Avri Ben-Zeev and Dr. Nancy Gavert of the Weizmann Institutes Molecular Cell Biology Department reveal mechanisms that help this cancer metastasize.

In a majority of cases, colorectal cancer is initiated by changes in a key protein beta-catenin. One of the roles of this protein is to enter the cell nucleus and activate gene expression. But in colorectal and other cancers, beta-catenin over-accumulates in the cell and inappropriately activates genes, leading to cancer.

Surprisingly, one of the genes activated by beta-catenin, which had been previously detected in colorectal cancer cells by Ben-Zeevs group, codes for a receptor called L1-CAM. This receptor is a protein usually found on nerve cells, where it plays a role in nerve cell recognition and motility. What is this receptor doing in cancer cells" Ben-Zeevs previous research had shown that L1-CAM is only expressed on certain cells located at the invasive front of the tumor tissue, hinting that it could be an important player in metastasis.

In this study, the scientists found that colorectal cancer cells engineered to express the L1-CAM gene indeed spread to the liver, while those cells lacking L1-CAM did not.

In collaboration with Prof. Eytan Domany and research student Michal Sheffer of the Insitutes Physics of Complex Systems Department, Ben-Zeev then compared the expression of genes induced by L1-CAM in cultured colon cancer cells to those in 170 samples of colorectal cancer tissue removed from patients, and in 40 samples of normal colon tissue. Out of some 160 genes induced by L1-CAM, about 60 were highly expressed in the cancerous tissue, but not in normal colon tissue. Ben-Zeev plans to conduct further research into the role of these genes, to uncover L1-CAMs function in metastasis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 3-D model reveals secrets of metastasis
2. Two-faced protein can stop metastasis or promote it, researchers say
3. Newly discovered behavior in cancer cells signals dangerous metastasis
4. Trojan Horse agent halts bone metastasis in mice
5. Inflammation may play role in metastasis of prostate cancer
6. Genes set scene for metastasis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , ... tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
Breaking Biology Technology: