About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Colorectal Cancer Due To Mutations in APC Protein

by Julia Samuel on October 25, 2017 at 1:10 PM
Font : A-A+

Colorectal Cancer Due To Mutations in APC Protein

Mutations in Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) are associated with a rare, hereditary form of colorectal cancer known as familial adenomatous polyposis.

Research led by scientists at the Institute Pasteur and Inserm have recently demonstrated that mutations to this gene do not only lead to the emergence of colon polyps; they also harm the immune system, leaving it unable to tackle inflammation of the colonic mucosa. This dual impact supports the development of cancer.

Advertisement


Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited condition characterized, from puberty, by the formation of a very large number of polyps, small growths on the inner surface of the colon and the rectum which can develop into tumors. If left untreated, these polyps may result in colorectal cancer before the age of 40.

Colon cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, and familial adenomatous polyposis currently represents 1% of all cases of colorectal cancer. Those affected by this hereditary disease therefore need close medical supervision.
Advertisement

Research led by scientists from the Institute Pasteur and Inserm recently demonstrated that mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, known to be involved in familial adenomatous polyposis, do not only lead to the emergence of colon polyps; they also harm the immune system, leaving it unable to tackle inflammation of the colonic mucosa. This dual impact may favor the development of cancer.

As Andrés Alcover, Head of the Lymphocyte Cell Biology Unit at the Institute Pasteur and last author of the paper, explains, "the APC protein, associated with the microtubule cytoskeleton, has a major effect on the structure and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells. By disrupting these functions in intestinal cells, APC mutations can lead to the development of tumors."

Scientists already knew that APC mutations could influence the immune system, but they had not yet identified the molecular mechanisms involved and the link with colorectal cancer development. The teams of scientists elucidated how the APC protein activates a particular type of immune cell known as T lymphocytes.

"The protein activates T lymphocytes using a factor known as NFAT[1]," continues Andrés Alcover. "Polyposis patients have a mutant version of the gene, which leads to a deficiency in APC protein and could reduce the presence of NFAT in cell nuclei" - thereby preventing lymphocyte activation.

One family of T lymphocytes, known as regulatory T cells, is particularly sensitive to APC mutations. The scientists observed a dysfunction in these regulatory T cells - which are present in large numbers in the intestine - in mice with these mutations that are predisposed to develop polyposis like the patients. This dysfunction leads to a deregulation of the immune system in the intestine and a failure to control local inflammation.

"This is the first time that we have characterized at molecular level how mutations in the APC protein affect the immune system, creating favorable conditions for cancer development," emphasizes Andrés Alcover.

These findings suggest that mutations in the APC gene play a dual role in the development of colorectal cancer. Not only do they trigger the development of polyps; they also reduce the action of the immune system, preventing it from controlling gut inflammation. This vicious circle supports the development of cancer.

It remains to be seen whether defects in the APC protein in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis have consequences for the other cells in the immune system, especially those that directly eliminate cancer cells. If so, this research might pave the way for the development of new therapies to improve the efficacy of treatment for patients with familial adenomatous polyposis or other forms of intestinal cancer.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Colo-rectal cancer - Management Colorectal Cancer Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Magical Millets for Your Health Colon Polyps Colorectal Cancer Screening Colorectal Cancer Screening with Colonoscopy 

Recommended Reading
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal screening is done using tests to detect blood in stool, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy ......
Diet to Prevent Colon Cancer
Diet and lifestyle play an important role in reducing the risk and delaying the onset of cancer. ......
Health Screening for Men between 40 and 64 years of Age
Health screening in men between 40 and 64 years of age helps to detect illnesses and cancers when .....
Health Screening for Women
Health screening in women between 40 and 60 years helps to diagnose health issues in the early ......
Colo-rectal cancer - Management
Treatment for Colorectal Cancers may involve surgery,chemotherapy, radiation therapy or biological t...
Colon Polyps
A colon polyp is a fleshy growth on the inside of the colon, also called the large intestine. In gen...
Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third...
Colorectal Cancer Screening with Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a widely used endoscopic procedure to screen individuals for colorectal cancer. It is...
Magical Millets for Your Health
Millets are far more nutrient dense than wheat and rice. They are inexpensive and tasty too. Nutriti...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use