Life, it seems, is not without a sense of irony, as a research team led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has just reported that a gene previously identified as critical for tumor growth in many human cancers also maintains intestinal stem cells and encourages the growth of cells that support them….adds to the growing pool of evidence for the intimate link between stem cells and cancer and advances prospects for regenerative medicine and cancer treatments.
Many genes that are involved in the growth and development of embryos or adult stem cells also play critical roles in carcinogenesis. After scanning the Cancer Genome Atlas, a database of genes expressed in human cancers, the research team discovered that the activity of the HMGA1 and SOX9 genes is tightly correlated in normal colon tissue, and both genes become highly overexpressed in colon cancer.
The research team plans to continue investigating the function of HMGA1 and SOX9 in intestinal and other cancers as well as their role in stem cells. Both avenues of investigation could eventually lead to clinical therapeutic applications
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Cancer and Stem Cell Growth Encouraged by the Same Gene
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