Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could regulating intestinal inflammation prevent colon cancer?

Date:
March 17, 2010
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
Every day, our gut comes in contact with bacteria, inducing an inflammatory response that is tolerated and controlled. Sometimes the control of inflammation is lost and this can lead to inflammatory bowel disease that may predispose to colon cancer. Caspase-1, an important protein involved in the mechanism of inflammation, has long been believed to be one of the culprits behind excessive inflammation in the colon. Researchers suggest the opposite in a new study.

Every day, our gut comes in contact with bacteria, inducing an inflammatory response that is tolerated and controlled. Sometimes the control of inflammation is lost and this can lead to inflammatory bowel disease that may predispose to colon cancer. Caspase-1, an important protein involved in the mechanism of inflammation, has long been believed to be one of the culprits behind excessive inflammation in the colon. Dr. Maya Saleh, a researcher at the MUHC Research Institute, and her colleagues suggest the opposite in their new study.

Related Articles


The MUHC/McGill researchers have demonstrated that Caspase-1 plays a crucial role in inflammation regulation and intestinal tissue repair. But too much of any good thing can sometimes be bad. They also demonstrated that if Caspase-12--the protein that blocks Caspase-1--is absent, the inflammation mechanism caused by Caspase-1 goes out of control.

Their findings, which were published in the journal Immunity, open the door to a greater understanding of and more targeted treatment strategy for preventing diseases linked to inflammation of the intestine as well as certain cancers.

This discovery is of major interest from the therapeutic point of view because many pharmaceutical companies have developed Caspase-1 inhibitors since the late 1990s with the goal of relieving the symptoms of colitis. However, Dr. Saleh's team observed that inhibition or deletion of Caspase-1 was not protective and actually caused an intense inflammatory reaction that led to severe colitis.

"Caspase-1 is needed to maintain the intestinal barrier and to repair it if injured. It works by stimulating the cells that line the intestinal barrier to proliferate and fill the site of damage or ulcer. This barrier shields us from the bacteria that colonize our gut," explains Dr. Saleh. "Without it, these bacteria invade to deeper tissues and trigger a persistent inflammation."

According to Dr. Saleh, the absence of Caspase-12 leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation and higher risk of colorectal cancer. "If Caspase-1 is not eventually blocked, it could lead to appearance of tumours," she says.

"Our challenge at present is to further our research on the action of Caspases in the immune response and also to see whether they play a role in other types of cancer."

Dr. Maya Saleh is a researcher in the Division of Intensive Care at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University.

The article, published in the journal Immunity, was authored by Jeremy Dupaul-Chicoine, Garabet Yeretssian, Karine Doiron, Philippe M. LeBlanc, Christian R. McIntire, and Maya Saleh from the RI MUHC and McGill University, Charles Meunier, Claire Turbide, Nicole Beauchemin and Philippe Gros, from McGill University and Kirk S.B. Bergstrom and Bruce A. Vallance from the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital.

This study was made possible by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, the CHILD Foundation and the Canadian Society for Immunology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dupaul-Chicoine et al. Control of Intestinal Homeostasis, Colitis, and Colitis-Associated Colorectal Cancer by the Inflammatory Caspases. Immunity, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2010.02.012

Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "Could regulating intestinal inflammation prevent colon cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317112053.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2010, March 17). Could regulating intestinal inflammation prevent colon cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317112053.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "Could regulating intestinal inflammation prevent colon cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317112053.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins