New insights made into cellular signalling pathway linked to cancer and other diseases 

September 12, 2017 by Tina Depko, McMaster University
Bradley Doble, left, principal investigator with the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, and Steven Moreira, PhD student in biochemistry and biomedical sciences. Credit: Tina Depko

Researchers at McMaster University have learned more about the regulation of a cellular signalling pathway involved in the development of several types of cancer, including colon cancer.

The research provides insight into how the pathway – called the Wnt signalling pathway – works in normal stem cells, which helps determine what promotes disease states. The study was recently published in the journal Cell Reports.

"The Wnt signalling pathway is required for proper embryonic development and stem cell function," said Bradley Doble, principal investigator with the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute and associate professor of biochemistry and .

"The Wnt pathway is frequently disrupted in a variety of human diseases including numerous types of , particularly , Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. This basic research provides guidance for the development of future therapeutic strategies."

Doble noted the team utilized gene knockout, where one of an organism's genes is made inoperative, in the study. To achieve this, researchers used technology called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR). This enables the permanent modification of genes in organisms.

"Normally people knock out one or two genes, but we knocked out all four downstream mediators of Wnt signalling by using CRISPR-mediated gene editing," said Doble.

Steven Moreira, a PhD student in biochemistry and biomedical sciences, is the first author on the paper. Moreira conducted the research in the Doble's lab in the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.

This paper was also recently presented at a conference in Stowe, Vermont. It will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Bioessays. Additional researchers contributed from McMaster University, University of Ottawa and University of Guelph.

Explore further: New genes discovered regulating brain metastases in lung cancer

More information: Steven Moreira et al. A Single TCF Transcription Factor, Regardless of Its Activation Capacity, Is Sufficient for Effective Trilineage Differentiation of ESCs, Cell Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.043

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not rated yet Sep 12, 2017
This is not new research.I was in contact with McMaster circa the 1990s.My research was suppressed at the University of Waterloo to cover up NIH scholarship fraud.I had found the Cell Death Signal Gene (now mainstream called Programmed Cell Death /PCD) based on the embryonic functioning of luteal cells to control pregnancy. This was peer reviewed by the Chair of M.D.Anderson Cancer Center. I have a letter of apology from the US Surgeon General regarding this matter.Even tho contacted by courier letters, McMaster did not have the courtesy to reply.Much of modern research , including the genome project and CRISPR can be found in my early research proposals sent to many scientists.I am glad people are finally doing the work .The question becomes, how many people have died of cancer who did not have to? Please note on the website you will find a letter of reply stating that PM Mulroney is well aware of the misconduct at Waterloo blocking this research,
not rated yet Sep 12, 2017
this is not new research.This pathway was explored by E.A.Greenhalgh circa 1988 and was based upon the Cell Death Signal Gene Theory as peer reviewed by Dr.G.L.Nicolson then Chair of the M.D.Anderson cancer Center . The work was suppressed to cover up NIH scholarship fraud at the University of Waterloo .I have a letter of apology from the US Surgeon General. I contacted McMaster circa 1990 but they did not reply to my courier letters explaining the research

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