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Researchers describe a new genetic program that converts static cells into mobile invasive cells
Date:12/15/2011

mme that we have characterized for the first time is specific for endodermal tissues", explains Casanova.

Having identified the genetic programme that favours this transformation in Drosophila, Casanova contacted Eduard Batlle's lab, which focuses on colorectal cancer and is also at IRB Barcelona. The aim was to test whether the homologue gene in mammal cells had the capacity to produce this same change. Their studies showed that this gene homologue, GATA 6, is conserved and confers cells the same capacities as those observed in the fly. "We started off with a strictly basic research line in development and have ended up with a collaboration with the Oncology Programme to address possible implications in cancer", says Casanova, emphasizing the multidisciplinary nature of the study. His lab now wishes to turn its attention to other members of the GATA family. "For example, pancreatic cancer has very poor prognosis. Our research can contribute to furthering understanding of the genetic bases of endodermal tumours and may speed up the detection of possible therapeutic targets".


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Contact: Snia Armengou
sonia.armengou@irbbarcelona.org
34-934-037-255
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Source:Eurekalert  

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