A New Signalling Pathway Linked To Sarcoma – Cancer of the Connective Tissue!

Skull showing extensive damage from a sarcomaA recent study conducted by a group of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine has revealed the hyperactivity of a protein signaling pathway in human sarcoma cells.

Sarcoma is the term used to describe the cancer of connective tissues such as muscles, bone, tendons, nerves and fat. Nearly 12,000 Americans are affected by this cancer every year.

In this study, human mesenchymal stem cells and human sarcoma cells were compared. Researchers found that the sarcoma cells showed hyperactivity signaling of Wnt pathway. This pathway is nothing but a complex combination of proteins that interact on a regular basis in a particular order to control several biological functions within the body.

Wnt pathway has a significant role in maintaining tissue homeostasis (internal stability).

Through this study, it was also observed that the growth of many other subtypes of sarcoma cells in humans increased with the hyperactivity of this pathway. Expression of CDC25A gene increased rapidly with the hyperactivity.

CDC25A gene was shown to play a role in other cancers as well. Increased gene levels increase the cell division rates. Cancer cells show high levels of this gene when compared to normal cells.

Hyperactivity of this pathway is one of the causes of colon cancer and many other cancers. As the signaling increases, alterations in certain genes are observed which in turn instruct the cells to divide abnormally which eventually becomes a cancerous cell.

According to Dr. Stuart Aaronson, the lead author of this study, the discovery of this hyperactivity in Wnt pathway provides researchers a new potential target to develop medications against it.

Because of its high levels in several cancers, medications aimed at suppressing the functional activity of this gene could enter the possible treatment options list in the near future.

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