New target protein for colon cancer identified
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(Boston)–Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a new potential target protein (c-Cbl) they believe can help further the understanding of colon cancer and ultimately survival of patients with the disease.

They found colon cancer patients with high levels of c-Cbl lived longer than those with low c-Cbl. Even though scientists have studied this protein in other cancers, it has not been explored in colon cancer until now.

The researchers examined the level of c-Cbl in tumors that were removed from people with colon cancer. Based on the level of this protein, c-Cbl, patients were split into two groups, high c-Cbl and low c-Cbl.

The researchers then wanted to find out what happens to cells when this protein was turned off. They did this by using two types of colon cancer cells split into three groups each. One group consisted of un-manipulated colon cancer cells, one group had increased expression of normal c-Cbl and the other group had increased expression of the “off” version of c-Cbl. This off version of c-Cbl lacked an essential function of c-Cbl called ubiquitin ligase activity. Cells that were given the “off” version of c-Cbl grew more tumors than those that

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