Nav: Home

Hedgehog signaling proteins keep cancer stem cells alive

January 19, 2018

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and fourth most common cause of death worldwide. Colon tumors consist of different types of cells, which play different roles in the growth of the tumor. The development and spread of cancer is thought to be caused by a subpopulation of cells that possess stem cell characteristics, including the capacity for self-renewal, differentiation and therapy resistance. These 'cancer stem cells' are also thought to be the source cancer recurrence following initial treatment success.

As part of OncoTrack project (an international consortium of scientists funded as part of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative), Dr. Joseph Regan and his colleagues at the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCCC) - working with scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, the Medical University of Graz and Bayer AG -investigated a treatment option aimed at treating cancers via the targeted elimination of cancer stem cells. Potentially capable of significantly improving treatment outcomes, this approach requires an in-depth understanding of both the relevant cellular communication pathways within the stem cells, and of the genes regulating them.

As part of the current study, the researchers carried out genetic sequencing of the colon cancer stem cells and performed functional studies using both mouse models and 3D cell cultures from patient-derived cancer cells. Their research revealed that cancer stem cell survival is controlled by a specific feature of the Hedgehog signaling pathway (SHH-PTCH1), which allows cells to respond to external signals in addition to inhibiting stem cell differentiation.

"The targeted inhibition of the Hedgehog signaling pathway, used in combination with other standard treatments to shrink tumors, may provide a new strategy for the elimination of cancer stem cells and the prevention of cancer recurrence," explains Dr. Regan. Similar targeting of the Hedgehog signaling pathway has also produced promising results in other preclinical studies on pancreatic and breast cancer cells. He adds: "Future research will set out to better define the downstream signaling components of the pathway and further investigate how Hedgehog signaling controls cancer stem cell survival."
-end-
*Regan et al.: Non-Canonical Hedgehog signaling is a positive regulator of the WNT pathway and is required for the survival of colon cancer stem cells. In: Cell Reports, Vol. 21, Issue 10, p2813-2828, December 05, 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.025.

Contact:

Dr. Joseph Regan
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center
Tel: 49-30-450-570-400
Email: joseph.regan@charite.de

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Related Stem Cells Articles:

A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells
Researchers have identified a protein that must be present in order for mammary stem cells to perform their normal functions.
Approaching a decades-old goal: Making blood stem cells from patients' own cells
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have, for the first time, generated blood-forming stem cells in the lab using pluripotent stem cells, which can make virtually every cell type in the body.
New research finds novel method for generating airway cells from stem cells
Researchers have developed a new approach for growing and studying cells they hope one day will lead to curing lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis through 'personalized medicine.'
Mature heart muscle cells created in the laboratory from stem cells
Generating mature and viable heart muscle cells from human or other animal stem cells has proven difficult for biologists.
Mutations in bone cells can drive leukemia in neighboring stem cells
DNA mutations in bone cells that support blood development can drive leukemia formation in nearby blood stem cells.
Scientists take aging cardiac stem cells out of semiretirement to improve stem cell therapy
With age, the chromosomes of our cardiac stem cells compress as they move into a state of safe, semiretirement.
Purest yet liver-like cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells
A team of researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere has found a better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells.
Stem cell scientists discover genetic switch to increase supply of stem cells from cord blood
International stem cell scientists, co-led in Canada by Dr. John Dick and in the Netherlands by Dr.
Stem cells from diabetic patients coaxed to become insulin-secreting cells
Signaling a potential new approach to treating diabetes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Related Stem Cells Reading:

Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide: How Stem Cells Are Disrupting Medicine and Transforming Lives
by Neil H Riordan (Author)

Stem Cells: An Insider's Guide
by Paul Knoepfler (Author)

The Science of Stem Cells
by Jonathan M. W. Slack (Author)

Stem Cells: Promise And Reality
by Lygia V Pereira (Author)

Stem Cells: A Short Course
by Rob Burgess (Author)

Stem Cell Revolution: Discover 26 Disruptive Technological Advances to Stem Cell Activation
by Joseph Christiano (Author)

The Stem Cell Revolution
by Mark Berman MD (Author), Elliot Lander MD (Contributor)

Stem Cells For Dummies
by Lawrence S.B. Goldstein (Author), Meg Schneider (Author)

A Buyer's Guide to Stem Cell Therapies: Safely Choose the Right Regenerative Treatment for You

Essentials of Stem Cell Biology
by Robert Lanza (Editor), Anthony Atala (Editor)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Right To Speak
Should all speech, even the most offensive, be allowed on college campuses? And is hearing from those we deeply disagree with ... worth it? This hour, TED speakers explore the debate over free speech. Guests include recent college graduate Zachary Wood, political scientist Jeffrey Howard, novelist Elif Shafak, and journalist and author James Kirchick.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#486 Volcanoes
This week we're talking volcanoes. Because there are few things that fascinate us more than the amazing, unstoppable power of an erupting volcano. First, Jessica Johnson takes us through the latest activity from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to help us understand what's happening with this headline-grabbing volcano. And Janine Krippner joins us to highlight some of the lesser-known volcanoes that can be found in the USA, the different kinds of eruptions we might one day see at them, and how damaging they have the potential to be. Related links: Kilauea status report at USGS A beginner's guide to Hawaii's otherworldly...