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Mass General Hospital Cancer Center treats patients with many cancer types. To learn more about the different cancer types that can be treated at the Cancer Center, please visit the Cancer Center website at the following page: http://www.massgeneral.org/cancer/services/
Expand Collapse APC  - General Description Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) is a regulator of several fundamental cellular processes, including cell division, cell attachment, cell migration, cell polarization, and chromosome segregation during division. In these complex functions, APC activity is essential for the prevention of cancer (in other words, APC acts as a tumor suppressor). APC is involved in these cellular functions through interactions with other cellular proteins. One of the most recognized functions of APC is in regulating levels of beta-catenin, which is part of the WNT signal pathway in cells. The WNT signal pathway is important in a variety of cellular processes. In the left hand cell in the graphic above, one can see that when there is no WNT ligand to bind to the extracellular WNT receptor, APC exists in a complex with other proteins. The complex is known as the “destruction complex”, and acts to destroy beta-catenin in the cell cytoplasm. This keeps levels of beta-catenin in the cell very low. Beta-catenin also binds to E-cadherin at the cell membrane, and is involved in cell to cell contacts (see graphic). When WNT ligand binds to the extracellular WNT receptor, as is depicted in the right hand cell in the graphic above, it activates the receptor to send a signal that causes the dissociation of the destruction complex including APC. Without the destruction complex, beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm of the cells. In the cytoplasm, beta-catenin binds to T-cell factor (TCF), and together they translocate into the nucleus. They then bind to DNA and activate the transcription of genes that promote cell growth, such as c-Myc and cyclin D1. In the presence of WNT ligand binding, normal cells proliferate and divide. In some cancers, APC is genetically altered, either through mutation or actual loss of the gene. Mutations in APC have been found in most colon cancers, whether familial (inherited genetic alterations) or spontaneous (somatic gene mutation). Mutations in APC have also been found in other cancers, including in adenocarcinoma of the lung. When APC is missing or mutated it cannot function in the destruction complex, and beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm even in the absence of WNT signaling. This unregulated high level of beta-catenin binds to TCF, moves into the nucleus of cancer cells, and binds to DNA to stimulate transcription of c-Myc and cyclin D1, causing cells to grow and divide. Another way that APC function can be disrupted is through changes in E-cadherin, a protein that binds to beta-catenin, and mediates cell to cell contact (see graphic above). In many cancers, E-cadherin expression is lost, and without E-cadherin interacting with beta-catenin, cell to cell contact becomes dysregulated. Other genetic changes in E-cadherin can be inherited. The gene that encodes E-cadherin is called CDH1. Inherited germline mutations in CDH1 result in an E-cadherin protein that does not function normally, and these inherited mutations in CDH1/E-cadherin have been found to be associated with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric cancer/Lobular Breast Cancer Syndrome. The fact that so many genetic alterations in the pathways associated with APC highlight the importance of the APC tumor suppressor in normally preventing cancer. Sources: Graphic adapted from slideshareecdn.com 02-cat-neoplasia-5081/95/02-cat-neoplasia-14-728.jpg?cb=124463107 Valeria Bugos, Camila Guezada, Nicolas Briceno Text sources PMID#17881494 Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC): a multi-functional tumor suppressor gene Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) is a regulator of several fundamental cellular processes, including cell division, cell attachment, cell migration, cell polarization, and chromosome segregation during division. In these complex functions, APC activity is essential for the prevention of cancer (in other words, APC acts as a tumor suppressor). APC is involved in these cellular functions through interactions with other cellular proteins. One of the most recognized functions of APC is in regulating levels of beta-catenin, which is part of the WNT signal pathway in cells. The WNT signal pathway is important in a variety of cellular processes. In the left hand cell in the graphic above, one can see that when there is no WNT ligand to bind to the extracellular WNT receptor, APC exists in a complex with other proteins. The complex is known as the “destruction complex”, and acts to destroy beta-catenin in the cell cytoplasm. This keeps levels of beta-catenin in the cell very low. Beta-catenin also binds to E-cadherin at the cell membrane, and is involved in cell to cell contacts (see graphic). When WNT ligand binds to the extracellular WNT receptor, as is depicted in the right hand cell in the graphic above, it activates the receptor to send a signal that causes the dissociation of the destruction complex including APC. Without the destruction complex, beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm of the cells. In the cytoplasm, beta-catenin binds to T-cell factor (TCF), and together they translocate into the nucleus. They then bind to DNA and activate the transcription of genes that promote cell growth, such as c-Myc and cyclin D1. In the presence of WNT ligand binding, normal cells proliferate and divide. In some cancers, APC is genetically altered, either through mutation or actual loss of the gene. Mutations in APC have been found in most colon cancers, whether familial (inherited genetic alterations) or spontaneous (somatic gene mutation). Mutations in APC have also been found in other cancers, including in adenocarcinoma of the lung. When APC is missing or mutated it cannot function in the destruction complex, and beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm even in the absence of WNT signaling. This unregulated high level of beta-catenin binds to TCF, moves into the nucleus of cancer cells, and binds to DNA to stimulate transcription of c-Myc and cyclin D1, causing cells to grow and divide. Another way that APC function can be disrupted is through changes in E-cadherin, a protein that binds to beta-catenin, and mediates cell to cell contact (see graphic above). In many cancers, E-cadherin expression is lost, and without E-cadherin interacting with beta-catenin, cell to cell contact becomes dysregulated. Other genetic changes in E-cadherin can be inherited. The gene that encodes E-cadherin is called CDH1. Inherited germline mutations in CDH1 result in an E-cadherin protein that does not function normally, and these inherited mutations in CDH1/E-cadherin have been found to be associated with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric cancer/Lobular Breast Cancer Syndrome. The fact that so many genetic alterations in the pathways associated with APC highlight the importance of the APC tumor suppressor in normally preventing cancer. Sources: Graphic adapted from slideshareecdn.com 02-cat-neoplasia-5081/95/02-cat-neoplasia-14-728.jpg?cb=124463107 Valeria Bugos, Camila Guezada, Nicolas Briceno Text sources PMID#17881494 Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC): a multi-functional tumor suppressor gene
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Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) is a regulator of several fundamental cellular processes, including cell division, cell attachment, cell migration, cell polarization, and chromosome segregation during division. In these complex functions, APC activity is essential for the prevention of cancer (in other words, APC acts as a tumor suppressor). APC is involved in these cellular functions through interactions with other cellular proteins. One of the most recognized functions of APC is in regulating levels of beta-catenin, which is part of the WNT signal pathway in cells.

The WNT signal pathway is important in a variety of cellular processes. In the left hand cell in the graphic above, one can see that when there is no WNT ligand to bind to the extracellular WNT receptor, APC exists in a complex with other proteins. The complex is known as the “destruction complex”, and acts to destroy beta-catenin in the cell cytoplasm. This keeps levels of beta-catenin in the cell very low. Beta-catenin also binds to E-cadherin at the cell membrane, and is involved in cell to cell contacts (see graphic).

When WNT ligand binds to the extracellular WNT receptor, as is depicted in the right hand cell in the graphic above, it activates the receptor to send a signal that causes the dissociation of the destruction complex including APC. Without the destruction complex, beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm of the cells. In the cytoplasm, beta-catenin binds to T-cell factor (TCF), and together they translocate into the nucleus. They then bind to DNA and activate the transcription of genes that promote cell growth, such as c-Myc and cyclin D1. In the presence of WNT ligand binding, normal cells proliferate and divide.

In some cancers, APC is genetically altered, either through mutation or actual loss of the gene. Mutations in APC have been found in most colon cancers, whether familial (inherited genetic alterations) or spontaneous (somatic gene mutation). Mutations in APC have also been found in other cancers, including in adenocarcinoma of the lung. When APC is missing or mutated it cannot function in the destruction complex, and beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm even in the absence of WNT signaling. This unregulated high level of beta-catenin binds to TCF, moves into the nucleus of cancer cells, and binds to DNA to stimulate transcription of c-Myc and cyclin D1, causing cells to grow and divide.

Another way that APC function can be disrupted is through changes in E-cadherin, a protein that binds to beta-catenin, and mediates cell to cell contact (see graphic above). In many cancers, E-cadherin expression is lost, and without E-cadherin interacting with beta-catenin, cell to cell contact becomes dysregulated. Other genetic changes in E-cadherin can be inherited. The gene that encodes E-cadherin is called CDH1. Inherited germline mutations in CDH1 result in an E-cadherin protein that does not function normally, and these inherited mutations in CDH1/E-cadherin have been found to be associated with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric cancer/Lobular Breast Cancer Syndrome. The fact that so many genetic alterations in the pathways associated with APC highlight the importance of the APC tumor suppressor in normally preventing cancer.


Sources:
Graphic adapted from slideshareecdn.com 02-cat-neoplasia-5081/95/02-cat-neoplasia-14-728.jpg?cb=124463107
Valeria Bugos, Camila Guezada, Nicolas Briceno
Text sources PMID#17881494 Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC): a multi-functional tumor suppressor gene

Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) is a regulator of several fundamental cellular processes, including cell division, cell attachment, cell migration, cell polarization, and chromosome segregation during division. In these complex functions, APC activity is essential for the prevention of cancer (in other words, APC acts as a tumor suppressor). APC is involved in these cellular functions through interactions with other cellular proteins. One of the most recognized functions of APC is in regulating levels of beta-catenin, which is part of the WNT signal pathway in cells.

The WNT signal pathway is important in a variety of cellular processes. In the left hand cell in the graphic above, one can see that when there is no WNT ligand to bind to the extracellular WNT receptor, APC exists in a complex with other proteins. The complex is known as the “destruction complex”, and acts to destroy beta-catenin in the cell cytoplasm. This keeps levels of beta-catenin in the cell very low. Beta-catenin also binds to E-cadherin at the cell membrane, and is involved in cell to cell contacts (see graphic).

When WNT ligand binds to the extracellular WNT receptor, as is depicted in the right hand cell in the graphic above, it activates the receptor to send a signal that causes the dissociation of the destruction complex including APC. Without the destruction complex, beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm of the cells. In the cytoplasm, beta-catenin binds to T-cell factor (TCF), and together they translocate into the nucleus. They then bind to DNA and activate the transcription of genes that promote cell growth, such as c-Myc and cyclin D1. In the presence of WNT ligand binding, normal cells proliferate and divide.

In some cancers, APC is genetically altered, either through mutation or actual loss of the gene. Mutations in APC have been found in most colon cancers, whether familial (inherited genetic alterations) or spontaneous (somatic gene mutation). Mutations in APC have also been found in other cancers, including in adenocarcinoma of the lung. When APC is missing or mutated it cannot function in the destruction complex, and beta-catenin builds up in the cytoplasm even in the absence of WNT signaling. This unregulated high level of beta-catenin binds to TCF, moves into the nucleus of cancer cells, and binds to DNA to stimulate transcription of c-Myc and cyclin D1, causing cells to grow and divide.

Another way that APC function can be disrupted is through changes in E-cadherin, a protein that binds to beta-catenin, and mediates cell to cell contact (see graphic above). In many cancers, E-cadherin expression is lost, and without E-cadherin interacting with beta-catenin, cell to cell contact becomes dysregulated. Other genetic changes in E-cadherin can be inherited. The gene that encodes E-cadherin is called CDH1. Inherited germline mutations in CDH1 result in an E-cadherin protein that does not function normally, and these inherited mutations in CDH1/E-cadherin have been found to be associated with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric cancer/Lobular Breast Cancer Syndrome. The fact that so many genetic alterations in the pathways associated with APC highlight the importance of the APC tumor suppressor in normally preventing cancer.


Sources:
Graphic adapted from slideshareecdn.com 02-cat-neoplasia-5081/95/02-cat-neoplasia-14-728.jpg?cb=124463107
Valeria Bugos, Camila Guezada, Nicolas Briceno
Text sources PMID#17881494 Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC): a multi-functional tumor suppressor gene

PubMed ID's
1788494
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