Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gut microbes promote cell turnover by a well-known pathway

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
Microbes matter -- perhaps more than anyone realizes -- in basic biological development and, maybe, they could be a target for reducing cancer risks, according to researchers.

Sections of zebrafish intestines show more proliferating cells (in green) in fish reared in the presence of microbes, left, versus those reared under sterile conditions at right.
Credit: Courtesy of Karen Guillemin

Microbes matter -- perhaps more than anyone realizes -- in basic biological development and, maybe, they could be a target for reducing cancer risks, according to University of Oregon researchers.

In a study of very basic biology of zebrafish, scientists in the UO Institute of Molecular Biology focused on the developing intestine during its early formation in the sterile environment of its eggshell through the exposure to natural colonizing bacteria after hatching.

What they found was eye opening, said Karen Guillemin, professor of biology: Resident microbes in the still-maturing intestine send messages that promote non-disease-related cell proliferation in the same Wnt [pronounced went] signaling pathway where genetic mutations have long been known to give rise to colorectal cancer. The findings appeared online ahead of regular publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The complex Wnt pathway in the gut already is considered the starting point for more than 70 percent of sporadic colorectal cancers. In the study, researchers used normal zebrafish and those harboring mutations in the Wnt pathway. They were reared under germ-free conditions and then exposed under laboratory conditions to specific microbes to define how microbial signals interact with the Wnt pathway to promote cell proliferation in the gut.

"We were able to show that microbial signals do feed into and enhance signaling in the Wnt pathway. They feed in at a point after the node where most cancer-promoting genetic mutations occur," Guillemin said. "What this says is that for anyone who is at risk for developing cancer because they have these mutations, it matters what microbes these mutations are associated with. These two pieces of information contribute in parallel and feed into the same pathway."

The findings, she said, add fodder in an emerging shift in cancer research to look at the impact of microbes and other infectious causes of the disease. "It may be that associated microbes play as significant a role in cancer risk as genetic mutations," she said. "We need to learn more about the contributions of microbe signaling to cell proliferation. Maybe you could intervene with a targeted therapy. Even if you can't fix a mutation you might manipulate the associated microbes to change the interaction and reduce unwanted cell proliferation."

Genetic research on zebrafish -- a high-priority model organism for the National Institutes of Health, which supported the project -- began at the UO in the early 1970s. Guillemin, who recently received an early career investigator-scholar award from the NIH Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is known for her studies in zebrafish on the role of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Co-authors on the paper were Sarah E. Cheesman, who was supported by an NIH Research Service Award fellowship, doctoral student James T. Neal and research technicians Erika Mittge and Barbara M. Seredick.

In addition to the NIH, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund supported the research.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. E. Cheesman, J. T. Neal, E. Mittge, B. M. Seredick, K. Guillemin. Microbes and Health Sackler Colloquium: Epithelial cell proliferation in the developing zebrafish intestine is regulated by the Wnt pathway and microbial signaling via Myd88. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000072107

Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Gut microbes promote cell turnover by a well-known pathway." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007092828.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2010, October 18). Gut microbes promote cell turnover by a well-known pathway. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007092828.htm
University of Oregon. "Gut microbes promote cell turnover by a well-known pathway." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007092828.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 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:
from the past week

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