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Gladstone scientists offer new insight into the regulation of stem cells and cancer cells
Date:8/15/2011

wledge of how these two proteins interact, we have increased the chances of being able to offer new solutions for those suffering from colorectal cancer."

In the paper, Dr. Srivastava and his colleagues describe how Notch and Beta-Catenin, the two proteins in question, together contribute to the regulation of cell growth and fetal development. When the protein called Notch interacted with Beta-Catenin, it results in degradation of Beta-catenin, which in turn regulates the growth of both stem cells and cancer cells. Conversely, when Notch and Beta-Catenin didn't interact, stem cells expanded out of control. Disruption of the balance of these two proteins can lead to a malformed heart during embryonic development. And in adults, over-active Beta-Catenin can promote abnormal cell growth in the intestinal wall, opening the door for colon cancer.

Dr. Srivastava, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), said his group has already begun additional research meant to uncover what other proteins impact Notch and Beta-Catenin in the body. Gladstone, which is affiliated with UCSF, is a leading and independent biomedical-research organization that focuses on cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and viral infections.

"We hope that this research will lead us to new potential therapies for cancer, and towards a better understanding of heart defects in newborns," said Paul Cheng, who co-led the study and is an MD/PhD student at the UCSF School of Medicine and who works at Gladstone.

Other scientists who participated in the research at Gladstone include Isabelle King, Peter Andersen and Vishal Nigam. Funding for the research came from a wide variety of organizations, including the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, the William Younger Family Foundation, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Srivastava is the Director of the Gla
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Contact: Anne Holden
anne.holden@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-734-2534
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

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