Two proteins associated with colon cancer identified

Two proteins associated with colon cancer identified

A group of international researchers have identified it two proteins involved in inflammation as a diagnostic marker of Colon cancer and ulcerative colitis. In the study published in the journal cancer communicationthe Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) participated.

Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for the development of colon cancer and patients with inflammatory bowel diseases are more likely to suffer from it. Until now, however, the molecular details of the link between cancer and inflammation were unknown.

Due to the high mortality rate of this cancer, having risk markers in early stages could help improve survival rates and find more effective antitumor therapies.

p38γ and p38δ proteins could be used as markers

In the new study, experts analyzed the values p38γ and p38δ proteinsInflammatory regulators, their activation mechanism and the expression level of their messenger RNAs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

According to Ana Cuenda, a researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), it has been observed that in sick patients, p38δ levels decrease while p38γ levels increase. “Specifically, the activation of this protein caused by phosphorylation,” he added in a statement.

Hence the detection of these changes in plasma samples would facilitate the use of these proteins as diagnostic markers by liquid biopsy.

Scientists created miniaturized organs from patient tumors

To identify the two proteins involved in inflammation, scientists have analyzed various messenger RNA databases -which transfers the genetic code from the DNA of human patients. In addition, they have miniaturized organs or created tumor-derived organoidsin collaboration with a team from the Alberto Sols Biomedical Research Institute (IIB-CSIC-UAM).

They also used a model of colon cancer associated with colitis in mice, where they saw that in the absence of these proteins, the animals had less inflammation and developed fewer tumors.

‘In this model, the results were similar to those observed with human samples, confirming the generality of the mechanism described,’ affirmed the CSIC.


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