Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune cells found to fuel colon cancer stem cells

Date:
May 8, 2014
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A subset of immune cells directly target colon cancers, rather than the immune system, giving the cells the aggressive properties of cancer stem cells, a new study finds. The researchers discovered that an epigenetic factor called DOT1L is regulated by IL-22, contributing to the cells developing stem cell properties. High levels of DOT1L in patient tumor samples were tied to shorter survival. The researchers suggest DOT1L may be a marker for colon cancer progression, and that this pathway could potentially be targeted in new colon cancer treatments.

A subset of immune cells directly target colon cancers, rather than the immune system, giving the cells the aggressive properties of cancer stem cells.

So finds a new study that is an international collaboration among researchers from the United States, China and Poland.

"If you want to control cancer stem cells through new therapies, then you need to understand what controls the cancer stem cells," says senior study author Weiping Zou, M.D., Ph.D., Charles B. de Nancrede Professor of surgery, immunology and biology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Consider invasive Africanized honey bees. The worker honey bees are like the bulk majority of tumor cells while the queen bee is like the cancer stem cell. The queen bee can repopulate an entire colony but survives on royal jelly. If you remove the royal jelly, the queen bee dies and the entire colony of invasive Africanized honey bees can be removed. Th22-derived IL-22 is the royal jelly.

Th22 is a subset of a type of immune cell called T-cells. Typically, T-cells are the soldiers of the immune system, killing off tumor cells. In the case of colon cancer, the researchers found, Th22 acts as a tumor helper, actually supporting the cells in becoming able to renew -- one of the hallmarks of cancer stem cells.

The researchers discovered that an epigenetic factor called DOT1L is regulated by IL-22, contributing to the cells developing stem cell properties. High levels of DOT1L in patient tumor samples were tied to shorter survival. The researchers suggest DOT1L may be a marker for colon cancer progression, and that this pathway could potentially be targeted in new colon cancer treatments.

The researchers are now looking at potential drugs that might target this process directly. No specific therapies are currently available.

Tumor immunology and immunotherapy has become a hot research topic recently. Science named it the breakthrough of the year in 2013. Zou's group has been among the pioneers in understanding how the immune system plays a role in cancer.

The study was led by Ilona Kryczek, Yanwei Lin and Nisha Nagarsheth. Results appear online in the journal Immunity.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ilona Kryczek, Yanwei Lin, Nisha Nagarsheth, Dongjun Peng, Lili Zhao, Ende Zhao, Linda Vatan, Wojciech Szeliga, Yali Dou, Scott Owens, Witold Zgodzinski, Marek Majewski, Grzegorz Wallner, Jingyuan Fang, Emina Huang, Weiping Zou. IL-22 CD4 T Cells Promote Colorectal Cancer Stemness via STAT3 Transcription Factor Activation and Induction of the Methyltransferase DOT1L. Immunity, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.03.010

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Immune cells found to fuel colon cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121241.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2014, May 8). Immune cells found to fuel colon cancer stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121241.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Immune cells found to fuel colon cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508121241.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) 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