Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stronger intestinal barrier may prevent cancer in the rest of the body, new study suggests

Date:
February 21, 2012
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
A leaky gut may be the root of some cancers forming in the rest of the body, a new study suggests. It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) -- a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract -- plays a key role in strengthening the body's intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens.

A leaky gut may be the root of some cancers forming in the rest of the body, a new study published online Feb. 21 in PLoS ONE by Thomas Jefferson University researchers suggests.

Related Articles


It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) -- a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract -- plays a key role in strengthening the body's intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens.

A team led by Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson and director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, discovered in a pre-clinical study that silencing GC-C in mice compromised the integrity of the intestinal barrier. It allowed inflammation to occur and cancer-causing agents to seep out into the body, damaging DNA and forming cancer outside the intestine, including in the liver, lung and lymph nodes.

Conversely, stimulating GC-C in intestines in mice strengthened the intestinal barrier opposing these pathological changes.

A weakened intestinal barrier has been linked to many diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and food allergies, but this study provides fresh evidence that GC-C plays a role in the integrity of the intestine. Strengthening it, the team says, could potentially protect people against inflammation and cancer in the rest of the body.

"If the intestinal barrier breaks down, it becomes a portal for stuff in the outside world to leak into the inside world," said Dr. Waldman. "When these worlds collide, it can cause many diseases, like inflammation and cancer."

The role of GC-C outside the gut has remained largely elusive. Dr. Waldman and his team have previously shown its role as a tumor suppressor and biomarker that reveals occult metastases in lymph nodes. They've used to it better predict cancer risk, and have even shown a possible correlation with obesity.

Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dr. Waldman colleagues found that silencing GC-C affected appetite in mice, disrupting satiation and inducing obesity. Conversely, mice who expressed the hormone receptor knew when to call it quits at mealtime.

However, its role in intestinal barrier integrity, inflammation, and cancer outside the intestine is new territory in the field.

A new drug containing GC-C is now on the verge of hitting the market, but its intended prescribed purpose is to treat constipation.

This study helps lays the groundwork, Dr. Waldman said, for future pre-clinical and clinical studies investigating GC-C's abilities beyond those treatments in humans, including prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

"We've shown that when you pull away GC-C in animals, you disrupt the intestinal barrier, putting them at risk for getting inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. And when you treat them with hormones that activate GC-C it helps strengthen the integrity of the intestinal barrier," Dr. Waldman said. "Now, if you want to prevent inflammation or cancer in humans, then we need to start thinking about feeding people hormones that activate GC-C to tighten up the barrier."


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Jieru Egeria Lin, Adam Eugene Snook, Peng Li, Brian Arthur Stoecker, Gilbert Won Kim, Michael Sullivan Magee, Alex Vladimir Mejia Garcia, Michael Anthony Valentino, Terry Hyslop, Stephanie Schulz, Scott Arthur Waldman. GUCY2C Opposes Systemic Genotoxic Tumorigenesis by Regulating AKT-Dependent Intestinal Barrier Integrity. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (2): e31686 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031686
  2. Michael A. Valentino, Jieru E. Lin, Adam E. Snook, Peng Li, Gilbert W. Kim, Glen Marszalowicz, Michael S. Magee, Terry Hyslop, Stephanie Schulz, Scott A. Waldman. A uroguanylin-GUCY2C endocrine axis regulates feeding in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; 121 (9): 3578 DOI: 10.1172/JCI57925

Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Stronger intestinal barrier may prevent cancer in the rest of the body, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221212345.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2012, February 21). Stronger intestinal barrier may prevent cancer in the rest of the body, new study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221212345.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Stronger intestinal barrier may prevent cancer in the rest of the body, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221212345.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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