New Gene That Drives Colon Cancer Identified

PDZK1IP1 gene key to colon cancer growth identified by scientists can contribute to the growth of tumor cells.

The researchers, from Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute, said that they have discovered that the environment around a colon cancer tumor can programme what is known as a “super enhancer,” a complex area of DNA with a high concentration of transcriptional machinery that controls whether a cell is malignant.

Genetics Behind Colon Cancer Growth

This super enhancer – the largest 1-2 percent of all enhancers in the cell – regulates the gene PDZK1IP1, which was previously not identified as a cancer gene.

“This cancer is reliant on surgery for treatment, and immunotherapies that have revolutionized the treatment of advanced cancer have only worked for a small subset of colon cancer patients. That’s why there’s a great need for novel target identification,” Zhou added.

This study, published in the journal Nature Communication, found that the super enhancer is activated by surrounding inflammation in the tumor microenvironment.

The inflammation allows the cancer cells to survive in an environment they otherwise would not. Inflammatory bowel disease is a known risk for colon cancer; this finding could add to the understanding of the mechanism involved.

Source: IANS

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