Now, tales from the crypt could help in fight against cancer

   Mar 31, 2:18 pm

Washington, Mar 31 (ANI): Intestinal crypts have been found to hold a special population of intestinal stem cells that respond to damage and help prevent cancer, a study says.

These crypts are small areas of the intestine where new cells are formed to continuously renew the digestive tract. Researchers from Vanderbilt University, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and their colleagues are focusing on one protein expressed in our intestines called Lrig1.

Their research also shows the diversity of stem cells in the intestines is greater than previously thought.

"Identification of these cells and the role they likely play in response to injury or damage will help advance discoveries in cancer," said Shawn Levy, PhD, faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute and an author of the study.

The intestines and colon are normally lined with a single layer of cells to absorb nutrients from food. There are regular small pockets in the intestines called crypts, where stem cells are gathered. Rapid turnover of the lining cells and replacement by new lining cells made in the crypt, keep the intestines and colon healthy and keep damaged cells from turning into cancerous ones.

The new paper demonstrates that, although the makeup of stem cells in the crypt is still controversial, the Lrig1 protein can distinguish a group of long-lived cells at the base of the crypt. These Lrig1-positive stem cells do not regularly replace lining cells, but instead are only activated when there is damage or injury to the intestine.

In addition, the researchers show that the Lrig1 protein functions to prevent cancer as a tumour suppressor molecule. When the protein is completely absent from a mouse model, the mice all develop adenomas and then tumours. This suggests that Lrig1 is an important target for understanding and treating intestinal and colon cancer.

"RNA sequencing work at HudsonAlpha found that the Lrig1-positive stem cells are molecularly different in multiple ways from previously identified crypt stem cells, in keeping with their role in responding to damage," said Levy.

He added that further work on genes expressed or silenced in this population of cells will increase understanding of both normal and cancer cell progression in the intestines.

The research was published in the March 30 issue of Cell. (ANI)

Dine with wine for better cholesterol management Oct 13, 2:06 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed consuming a glass of red wine every day can help patients with controlled type 2 diabetes improve heart health and manage cholesterol.
Full Story
Being a summer baby has its benefits Oct 13, 1:14 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed that girls born in summer are more likely to have higher birth weight and late puberty.
Full Story
Pregnant women with high blood sugar likelier to have infant with heart disease Oct 13, 12:06 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed that pregnant women with elevated blood sugar levels are more likely to have babies with congenital cardiovascular defects, even if their blood sugar is below the cut off for diabetes.
Full Story
ICMR, PHFI and University of Washington launch collaborative health initiative Oct 12, 6:09 pm
New Delhi, Oct.12 (ANI-NewsVoir): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, have launched a collaborative initiative on state-level disease burden estimation in India.
Full Story