Regulation of microRNAs by cytokine signalling pathways in gastro-intestinal cancers is a Research Project for the Cancer and Immune Signalling Research Group, under the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases.
A strong link exists between gastric cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and chronic gastric inflammation (gastritis) triggered by deregulated interactions between gastric microflora and the host mucosal epithelium. However, the molecular basis by which the gastric mucosal epithelium triggers gastritis and gastric cancer is ill-defined. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as a new class of gene expression regulators that are linked to a host of pathophysiological responses, including inflammation and tumourigenesis. Indeed, investigations into the relationship between miRNAs and their regulation of gene networks involved ininnate immunity, inflammation and cancer are still in their relative infancy. Using a mouse model for spontaneous gastric cancer driven by deregulated activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 latent transcription factor, we aim to uncover how STAT3 hyper-activation modulates the altered gastric expression profile of specific miRNAs prior to the onset of inflammatory pre-dysplastic gastric lesions. The project employs a broad range of molecular and cellular biological techniques, as well as genetic disease models coupled with validation studies in human biopsies.
Greg Goodall (Centre for Cancer Research, Adelaide)
Di Wu (Harvard Medical School, USA)