The expression of an intestinal epithelial cell receptor is silenced in most human colorectal cancers that progress from benign to malignant, according to a Biology Letter in the 23 June 2005 issue of Nature (Vol. 435, No. 7045, pp. 1126-1130). In addition, Hans Clevers and colleagues report that loss of expression of this receptor, EphB2, accelerates the progression of colorectal cancer in mice.
This study contradicts previous work suggesting that EphB2 would be a good target in cancer therapy because of its overall upregulation in colorectal cancers compared with normal intestinal tissue. The authors note that this discrepancy underscores the need for careful study of potential drug targets.
Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Laboratory, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
(C) Nature press release.
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