Navigation Links
U of M researchers: Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (August 23, 2012) University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center researchers have partnered with geneticists from Genentech, Inc., to discover how some proteins may cause the development of some forms of colon cancers.

The proteins part of R-spondin family normally help activate cell proliferation during embryonic development. Now, University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that when two types of R-spondins RSPO2 and RSPO 3 are reactivated in adults through certain gene mutations, they can signal cells to restart the cell proliferation process, which can lead to tumor growth in the colon.

The discovery, which involved multiple researchers from the University's Masonic Cancer Center, could lead the way to more personalized colon cancer therapy designed around the genetics of a patient's specific cancer. The results are available online now, in the journal Nature.

"These results suggest there is a potential for personalized therapies based on knowing a tumor's specific genetics," said David Largaespada, Ph.D., associate director of Basic Sciences and professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development. "And because these R-spondins are related to embryonic growth, and seem to not have major roles in the adult, targeting them would likely be low in side effects."

To arrive at the results, researchers analyzed more than 70 pairs of human colon tumors and a mouse model engineered using the Sleeping Beauty transposon by Largaespada. Through a series of investigations, researchers identified 36 rearrangements that result in gene fusions, including two recurrent ones involving R-spondin family members RSPO2 and RSPO3.

While the results could generate more personalized approaches to the treatment of colon cancer, researchers stress more research is needed before these results can be applied to actual patient care.

Caitlin Conboy, an M.D./Ph.D. student studying at the University of Minnesota, worked closely on this project and is nowworking to advance the science of this paper to the next stage.

"What we're finding is that tumors may look the same, but they're fundamentally different," said Conboy. "Diagnosis may be less about the tissue where the tumor is found, like the breast or colon, but the drivers of the tumor's growth."

Conboy is beginning work on a study that will help determine if a blocking agent could be useful in treating tumors driven by R-spondin production. If this project is successful, it could help create new therapeutic approaches useful in certain patients after a tumor genetic test is done.

Contact: Caroline Marin
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center

Related biology news :

1. UCSD researchers: Where international climate policy has failed, grassroots efforts can succeed
2. Newly released FDA draft guidelines for biosimilar drugs to be discussed at conference
3. Scripps Research discoveries lead to newly approved drug for infant respiratory distress syndrome
4. Newly discovered foot points to a new kid on the hominin block
5. Newly found protein helps cells build tissues
6. Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
7. Key proteins newly discovered form and function may provide novel cancer treatment target
8. Newly discovered breast milk antibodies help neutralize HIV
9. Newly discovered dinosaur implies greater prevalence of feathers
10. Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
11. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... TOKYO , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on ... to take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... in Ottawa , he pointed to the ... and the federal government. ... Poloz said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: