This week in therapeutics




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Colorectal cancer

b-Catenin (CTNNB1); E-cadherin (CDH1; CD324); Fusobacterium nucleatum FadA

Mouse studies suggest targeting Fusobacterium nucleatum could help treat colorectal cancer. F. nucleatum is a human gut bacterium previously shown to be associated with colorectal cancer, but its role in the disease was unclear. In mice, oral administration of F. nucleatum promoted the recruitment and expansion of myeloid cells, which can induce tumor progression, and accelerated intestinal tumorigenesis, whereas oral administration of control bacteria had no effect. In a mouse xenograft model of human colorectal cancer, F. nucleatum was shown to promote tumor growth, inflammation and oncogenic signaling via its FadA adhesin, which was shown to bind CDH1 to induce activation of CTNNB1 signaling. Next steps include determining whether FadA could be a diagnostic marker and developing an inhibitory peptide for therapeutic use.

SciBX 6(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.957
Published online Sept. 12, 2013

Patent application filed for findings from first study; available for licensing from the Case Western Reserve University Technology Transfer Office

Patent and licensing status unavailable for findings from second study

Rubinstein, M.R. et al. Cell Host Microbe; published online Aug. 14, 2013;
Contact: Yiping W. Han, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Kostic, A.D. et al. Cell Host Microbe; published online Aug. 14, 2013;
Contact: Wendy S. Garrett, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Contact: Matthew Meyerson, same affiliation as above