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Bacterial protein stimulates tumor proliferation.

In 2011, researchers identified a specific bacterial species, Fusobacterium nucleatum, in patients with colorectal cancer. It is unclear how the bacterium causes cancer, but it has been observed to have an affinity for colonizing tumors.

A new report suggests that F. nucleatum stimulates tumor growth in colorectal cancer. It contains a unique adhesion antigen on its surface that binds to a particular receptor on colorectal cancer cells, promoting inflammation and carcinogenesis. The adhesion antigen, known as FadA, was recorded in levels of 10 to 100 times the normal level found in healthy colon tissue. It was discovered that a synthetic peptide blocks the binding of FadA to colorectal cancer cells can inhibit its ability to stimulate proliferation of the cancer cells.

Researchers noted that FadA could serve both as a diagnostic marker for colorectal cancer and as a target for treating patients with colorectal cancer.

(Source: Cell Host Microbe, August 14, 2013.)

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2012
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