Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Obesity Primes the Colon for Cancer, According to NIH Study

Published: Saturday, April 05, 2014
Last Updated: Saturday, April 05, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The study appeared online April 1 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Obesity, rather than diet, causes changes in the colon that may lead to colorectal cancer, according to a study in mice by the National Institutes of Health. The finding bolsters the recommendation that calorie control and frequent exercise are not only key to a healthy lifestyle, but a strategy to lower the risk for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

Paul Wade, Ph.D., and Thomas Eling, Ph.D., scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, led a collaborative team that made the discovery.

A large body of scientific literature says people who are obese are predisposed to a number of cancers, particularly colorectal cancer, Eling said. To better understand the processes behind this link, he and his colleagues fed two groups of mice a diet in which 60 percent of the calories came from lard.

The first group of mice contained a human version of a gene called NAG-1, which has been shown to protect against colon cancer in other rodent studies. The second group lacked the NAG-1 gene.

The NAG-1 mice did not gain weight after eating the high-fat diet, while mice that lacked the NAG-1 gene grew plump.

The researchers noticed another striking difference between the two groups of animals.

"The obese mice exhibited molecular signals in their gut that led to the progression of cancer, but the NAG-1 mice didn't have those same indicators," Eling said.

The researchers looked for molecular clues, by isolating cells from the colons of the mice and analyzing a group of proteins called histones. Histones package and organize DNA in a cell's nucleus, and sometimes undergo a process known as acetylation, in which chemical tags bind to their surface. The pattern of acetylation varies depending on the chemical processes taking place in the cell.

Wade explained that the acetylation patterns for the obese mice and the thin NAG-1 mice were drastically different. Patterns from the obese mice resembled those from mice with colorectal cancer. The additional weight they carried also seemed to activate more genes that are associated with colorectal cancer progression, suggesting the obese mice are predisposed to colon cancer.

"Any preexisting colon lesions in these animals are more likely to evolve rapidly into malignant tumors," Wade said. "The same thing may happen in humans."

Wade and Eling want to find out exactly how obesity prompts the body to develop colorectal cancer. Wade said that the likely candidates for triggering tumor growth in the colon are fat cells, but there are many more possibilities. Finding these cellular switches may give rise to production of medications to keep people from getting colorectal cancer.

"Once we identify the signaling pathways and understand how the signal is transduced, we may be able to design ways to treat colorectal cancer in obese patients," Wade said.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Study Shows Promise of Precision Medicine for Most Common Type of Lymphoma
The study appeared online July 20, 2015, in Nature Medicine.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Potential Therapeutic for Blinding Eye Disease
NIH research points to microglia as potential therapeutic target in retinitis pigmentosa.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
NCI-MATCH Trial will Link Targeted Cancer Drugs to Gene Abnormalities
Precision medicine trial will open to patient enrollment in July.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Linking Targeted Cancer Drugs to Gene Abnormalities
Investigators at the NIH have announced a series of clinical trials that will study drugs or drug combinations that target specific genetic mutations.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Lipid Nanoparticle Therapeutic Treats Ebola in Monkeys
A newly designed agent was effective in treating monkeys infected with a deadly Ebola virus strain.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Possible Treatment for Lethal Pediatric Brain Cancer
NIH-funded preclinical study suggests epigenetic drugs may be used to treat leading cause of pediatric brain cancer death.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
NIH Study Finds Genetic Link for Rare Intestinal Cancer
Researchers recommend screening for people with family history.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Novel Approach Gives Insights Into Tumor Development
Scientists used a powerful new technique to turn off all the genes in mouse lung cancer cells and test how they affect tumor growth and metastasis.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Strengthening the Immune System’s Fight Against Brain Cancer
NIH-funded research suggests novel way to improve vaccine efficacy in brain tumors.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Range of Molecular Alterations in Head and Neck Cancers Uncovered
TCGA tumor genome sequencing analyses offer new insights into the effects of HPV and smoking, and find genomic similarities with other cancers.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
NIH Researchers Tackle Thorny Side of Gene Therapy
Pre-clinical studies in mice reveal ways to reduce cancer risk with modified treatment.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
NIH Exceptional Responders to Cancer Therapy Study Launched
Study to investigate the molecular factors of tumors associated with exceptional treatment responses of cancer patients to drug therapies.
Friday, September 26, 2014
NIH Announces the Launch of 3 Integrated Precision Medicine Trials
ALCHEMIST is for patients with certain types of early-stage lung cancer.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
NIH Launches 3 Integrated Precision Medicine Trials
Findings to answer questions about addition of targeted therapies in earlier stage disease and help understand the prevalence and natural history of these genomic changes in earlier stage lung cancer.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
GTEx Project to Expand Functional Studies of Genomic Variation
Larger set of human tissues to be analyzed to contribute to a database and tissue bank that researchers can use to study how genomic variants influence gene activity.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Watching a Tumour Grow in Real-Time
Researchers from the University of Freiburg have gained new insight into the phases of breast cancer growth.
Childhood Cancer Cells Drain Immune System’s Batteries
Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease.
Urine Proteins Point to Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
A combination of three proteins found at high levels in urine can accurately detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, researchers at the BCI have shown.
Researcher Discovers Trigger of Deadly Melanoma
New research sheds light on the precise trigger that causes melanoma cancer cells to transform from non-invasive cells to invasive killer agents, pinpointing the precise place in the process where "traveling" cancer turns lethal.
Self-Assembling, Biomimetic Membranes May Aid Water Filtration
A synthetic membrane that self assembles and is easily produced may lead to better gas separation, water purification, drug delivery and DNA recognition, according to an international team of researchers.
Error Correction Mechanism in Cell Division
Cell biologists have reported an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.
Researchers Resurrect Ancient Viruses
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens Eye Research Institute have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina.
Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription
Experiments in yeast hint at ways to extend life of some human cells.
Crucial for Stem Cell Survival Protein Identified Using Editing Tool CRISPR
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has identified a protein that is integral to the survival and self-renewal processes of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC).
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!