Cancer Research publishes new discoveries in colorectal oncogenesis

MAY . 02 2018
Peking University, May 2, 2018: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the common and leading death diseases. Cancer starts when cells in the body grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum, which are the lower parts of large intestine.

Many studies are looking to identify the causes of colorectal cancer. The hope is that this might lead to new ways to help prevent and treat it. Recently, a group led by Dr. Zhang Xiuqin from Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking university and their collaborators from Cancer Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences revealed an important cell signaling mechanism that plays an important role in colorectal oncogenesis.

The researchers found two important signaling molecules, receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIPK1) and mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU), both upregulated in human colorectal cancer. Specifically, RIPK1 interacts with MCU to promote cancer cell proliferation by increasing mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and energy metabolism. These findings provided that RIPK1 and MCU as important therapeutic targets in colorectal cancer treatment. Development of new drugs that target RIPK1 or MCU in the future may be useful to prevent tumor development by inhibiting cancer cells metabolism and proliferation.

Written by: Zeng Fanxin, Cui Weiyi
Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Source: Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University