The CIBBIM-Nanomedicine-Molecular Oncology group at Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) has identified the role of a gene -the Myosina 1a or MYO1A- in the appearance of the colorectal cancer. What until now was known as a gene without too much importance and responsible of part of the internal scaffolding of the epiteliales cells of the colon (structure and covering of the intestinal hairinesses) has turned out to be key in the development of the tumor. This finding the MYO1A in a main position in the colorectal tumors, up to the point of begin a suppressing gene of the tumor capable of modifying the survival of the patients and operating as forecasting factor. The patients with low levels of the protein MYO1A are free of disease less time and have a minor survival (lower than one year), if it is compared with patients with high levels of MYO1A in their tumor that have survival superior to 9 years. The results of this study of VHIR is published today in the magazine Proceedings of National Academy of Science (PNAS).
Although it was known the importance of the loss of differentiation and especially the loss of the architecture of the epiteliales cells (cells of the cap of covering of the intestine) in the tumour processes, it wasn't known the relevancy of this protein - MYO1A - in this process. "What was looking like a gene with a merely structural paper with little importance has been key in the differentiation of the cells of colorectal tumors", explains Dr. Diego Arango, responsible of this study and head of the CIBBIM-Nanomedicine-Molecular Oncology group at VHIR. It is frequent to find mutations of MYO1A (in 32 % of the tumors) and, in consequencem when this gene alters inactivates losses the capacity of differentiation of the epiteliales cells, which translates in low levels of MYO1A, one major tumour growth and worse forecasting of the patients because they have minor survival. "Up to the date it was thought that the loss of MYO1A was a consequence of the tumour progression, and nevertheless, one of the most surprising results of the study is the demonstration that the unactivation of MYO1A is a direct causer of the loss of cellular differentiation and, therefore, contributes directly to the formation of the tumor", comments Dr. Arango. "MYO1A is the driver of the process and not a simple passenger", clarifies Dr. Arango.
VHIR in the media: La Vanguardia, TVE min. 11'45", Cadena SER, El País, RAC1, RNE Ràdio 4 21'05", Europa Press, La Razón, Diario Médico, ACN, Agencia Sinc, La Información, Qué!, El Economista, Ara, El Punt Avui, El Semanal Digital, Diario de Mallorca, La Rioja, El Confidencial, Rosario 3