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R-spondin 1 (RSPO1); slit homolog 2 (SLIT2)

Mouse studies suggest RSPO1 and SLIT2 could improve the tolerability of chemoradiotherapy, which is known to damage normal intestinal tissues. In the small intestine of mice, human SLIT2 overexpression increased intestinal stem cell numbers and intestinal regeneration compared with no overexpression. In mice with intestinal tumors that received a lethal dose of chemoradiation, recombinant human SLIT2 and RSPO1 synergistically increased survival compared with either recombinant protein alone. In these mice, SLIT2 and RSPO1 did not dampen the efficacy of chemoradiation. Next steps include generating longer-lived chimeric proteins by fusing human SLIT2 and RSPO1 to immunoglobulin Fc fragments.

SciBX 6(34); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.922
Published online Sept. 5, 2013

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Zhou, W.-J. et al. Nature;
published online July 31, 2013;
Contact: Jian-Guo Geng,
University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, Mich.