OMRF makes new findings related to colon cancer gene

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 5:00 am By: Ryan Stewart Source: The Oklahoman

Scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have made an important discovery that may point to how colon cancer develops.

The new finding, published in the scientific journal eLife, could lead to new pathways for drug development for colorectal cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancers are the third most common cancers in the U.S. for both men and women.

For the new research, an OMRF team led by David Jones worked with collaborators at the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute.


“We were approached by collaborators at Huntsman who had discovered a novel gene now known as MPC1 that regulates energy production in cells and that appeared dysregulated in colon cancer,” he said. “They asked us to look into it further.”

Using tiny fish called zebrafish, Jones and his lab were able to investigate the relationship between the MPC1 and another key colon cancer-causing gene (known as APC) they had studied for years.

“What we found is that APC controls the level of MPC1 and therefore controls the metabolic needs of intestinal cells,” said Jones, who leads OMRF's Functional and Chemical Genomics Research Program and holds the Jeannine Tuttle Rainbolt Endowed Chair in Cancer Research.

To better understand the relationship between the two genes, Jones performed an experiment.

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