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Fusobacteria use a special sugar-binding protein to bind to colon tumors

Date:
August 10, 2016
Source:
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Summary:
Some bacteria, called fusobacteria, commonly found in the mouth, use a sugar-binding protein to stick to developing colorectal polyps and cancers, according to a new study.
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Some bacteria, called fusobacteria, commonly found in the mouth, use a sugar-binding protein to stick to developing colorectal polyps and cancers, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine. While certain fusobacteria have previously been shown to worsen colorectal cancer in animals by the Garrett Lab at Harvard Chan School, this study is the first to demonstrate how they may get to and stick to developing tumors.

Understanding this mechanism is an important step toward fighting colorectal cancer, said co-senior study author Wendy Garrett, Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard Chan School. It might inform ways of blocking fusobacteria from homing in on colorectal tumors, she said. "Alternatively, and perhaps more importantly, our findings suggest that drugs targeting the same or similar mechanisms of bacterial sugar-binding proteins could potentially prevent these bacteria from exacerbating colorectal cancer."

The study will be published online August 10, 2016 in Cell Host & Microbe.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and microbes have emerged as key factors that influence the development and progression of the disease.

Garrett and co-senior study author Gilad Bachrach of Hebrew University used human samples and mouse models to confirm their new findings on fusobacteria.


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Materials provided by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jawad Abed, Johanna E.M. Emgård, Gideon Zamir, Mouhammad Faroja, Gideon Almogy, Amalie Grenov, Asaf Sol, Ronit Naor, Eli Pikarsky, Karine A. Atlan, Anna Mellul, Stella Chaushu, Abigail L. Manson, Ashlee M. Earl, Nora Ou, Caitlin A. Brennan, Wendy S. Garrett, Gilad Bachrach. Fap2 Mediates Fusobacterium nucleatum Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Enrichment by Binding to Tumor-Expressed Gal-GalNAc. Cell Host & Microbe, 2016; 20 (2): 215 DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.07.006

Cite This Page:

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Fusobacteria use a special sugar-binding protein to bind to colon tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160810141929.htm>.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2016, August 10). Fusobacteria use a special sugar-binding protein to bind to colon tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160810141929.htm
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Fusobacteria use a special sugar-binding protein to bind to colon tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160810141929.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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