Shirley – Jul 19th, 2017 – PLOS Pathogens recently published a study that proves a bacterium called Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies gallolyticus (Sg) will lead to the colorectal tumor growth with tumor cell proliferation. This study will have a vital effect on clinical implications as colorectal is regarded as the second leading cause of cancer-related death.
Although earlier researchers have figured out the potential connection between Sg and Colorectal cancer, the condition and methods for the Sg still are not clear. The new study aims to study the exact mechanism that may constitute a link between Sg and colorectal cancer.
Ritesh Kumar, the first author of this research, examining in vitro human cell cultures and tissues from human tumors, as well as in mice with colleagues. In cell culture, scientists grow colorectal cells with Sg, and these experiments show that Sg contributes to the colorectal cancer cells proliferation. In addition, they show that Sg-driven colorectal cancer cell proliferation depends on the growth period of Sg bacteria, only when the bacteria and cancer cells are in direct contact. Besides, scientists also tried to confirm if bacterial secretions and other metabolites from Sg will cause tumor cell proliferation, results showed that they are not sufficient conditions.
Sg promotes cell proliferation in a beta-catenin-dependent method. Scientist investigated the effect of Sg on beta-catenin in reactive and nonresponsive cells. With estimating the cell cycle protein levels and the level of β-catenin, it indicated that incubation of response cells with Sg results in upregulation of β-catenin and its carcinogenic downstream targets. ‘Wnt /β-catenin signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis, also is a critical pathway for colorectal cancer. ” said by Kumar.
The results comprehensively indicate that the tumor promoting the effect of Sg depends on the cellular environment, specific bacterial factors, direct contact with colon cancer cells, and β-catenin signaling. Scientist further suggests that Sg is present in most CRC patients and is preferred to bind to tumor tissue. In a summary, these findings highlight the importance of Sg in developing CRC, far beyond the previous recognition. This research also provides evidence that β-catenin is functionally important for Sg-stimulated cell proliferation. The effect of Sg on cell proliferation was eliminated by knocking out the β-catenin in response cells by two independent shRNA knockdowns. Treatment of cells with the β-catenin inhibitor iCRT3, which blocks the interaction between β-catenin and its spouse transcription factor, also eliminates the effect of Sg on cell proliferation, c-Myc and PCNA.
Kumar summed about this study “[The findings] demonstrate that Sg actively promotes colon cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth, suggesting that it is not an innocent “passenger”. These results represent a major step forward in understanding the relationship between Sg and CRC [colorectal cancer].” The team wishes to gain further breakthrough about the research and provide better apply in colorectal cancer diagnostic and treatment.
More details about this new study is available on PLOS Pathogens:
About Cell Proliferation
Cells are the structural and functional unit of our body which control and maintain the function of all unicellular and multicellular organisms. The process of cell proliferation and differentiation plays a key role from the time of embryogenesis to development of the whole organism from single- or double- cell embryo and continues its critical role in the maintenance of adult tissue homeostasis by recycling the old cells with new cells. Besides, abnormal cell proliferation is also associated with human diseases like cancer. In sum, cell proliferation assays are very important in scrutinizing the rate of cell proliferation in both in vitro and in vivo conditions.
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