There might be a way to control the progress of colorectal cancer, says study | Health - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

There might be a way to control the progress of colorectal cancer, says study

ANI | , Nagoya
Jan 31, 2021 08:04 AM IST

Scientists from Japan might have found a new way to control the progress of the colorectal cancer. The tissues of this cancer contains two kinds of fibroblasts which promote and restrain the progress and altering the balance between the two types of cells could stop the spread of the tumours.

Scientists from Nagoya University have found that colorectal cancer tissues contain two kinds of fibroblasts (a sort of cells found in connective tissue), namely those that promote and restrain cancer that the harmony between them is generally engaged with the spread of the disease.

Study discovers expected restorative targets can repress colorectal cancer progression(Pexels)
Study discovers expected restorative targets can repress colorectal cancer progression(Pexels)

Their findings, published in the journal Gastroenterology, suggest that Artificially altering the balance between the two types of cells could curb the spread of colorectal cancer tumors, which may become an effective strategy for preventing cancer progression.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Cancer tissues comprise both cancer cells and non-malignant cells such as fibroblasts. Previous studies have suggested that the proliferation of fibroblasts is largely involved in the progression of colorectal cancer, the most common cancer in Japan.

Fibroblasts within cancer tissues, called cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), are considered to be divided into at least two populations: those that promote cancer progression and those that restrain it. Impeding the function of cancer-promoting CAFs could be a promising method to prevent cancer progression, but a lack of understanding of the mechanism underlying heterogeneity of CAFs has hampered its development.

In normal colon tissues, proteins called bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which are secreted by stromal cells, are known to play a critical role in regulating intestinal homeostasis, whereas in cancerous colon tissues, they are considered to be associated with cancer progression.

In this context, the research team led by Professors Atsushi Enomoto and Masahide Takahashi of the Graduate School of Medicine at Nagoya University in Japan conducted a study to determine how stroma cells lead BMPs to be involved in the progression of colorectal cancer.

The team first analyzed comprehensive gene expression profiling data to identify BMP-related genes that are specifically expressed in colorectal CAFs. Two types of proteins, meflin and gremlin 1, were identified to be encoded by such genes.

Next, to investigate the relevance of these proteins in colorectal cancer progression, Prof. Enomoto and his colleagues, who had previously shown that meflin plays a role in restraining the progression of pancreatic cancer, conducted a study in collaboration with researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, who have conducted studies focusing on the role of gremlin 1 as a BMP inhibitor in the intestine.

The joint research group examined the prognostic significance of the expression of meflin and gremlin 1 in colorectal cancer patients and found that, interestingly, those with a high expression of meflin have a favorable prognosis, whereas those with a high expression of gremlin 1 have an unfavorable prognosis.

In addition, experiments using a mouse model revealed that the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells can be suppressed through the administration of a gremlin 1-neutralizing antibody or overexpression of meflin.

Regarding the role of BMP signaling mediated by stromal gremlin 1 and meflin in colorectal cancer, Prof. Enomoto explains, "We hypothesize that CAFs mediated by gremlin 1 promote cancer progression by decreasing BMP signaling, whereas CAFs mediated by meflin restrain the growth of cancer by reinforcing BMP signaling."

Therefore, intensifying stromal BMP signaling, either by using a gremlin 1-neutralizing antibody or by overexpressing meflin, could be an attractive therapeutic strategy to treat colorectal cancer.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more. Explore now!.

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Taylor Swift, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On