Medicine & Dentistry-Pediatrics
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Our proposed research involves the study of how genetic changes can predispose individuals to having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Elements, such as the tumor suppressor proteins, ensure that cellular growth is halted upon the receipt of an abnormal stimuli. In addition, they can also promote the activation of the death of abnormal cells. RASSF1A (1A) is one such tumor suppressor protein required for cell death. It has been determined that the 1A gene is silenced in human cancers. As such, there is loss of function of 1A in cancer cells resulting in enhanced growth of these cells. We have demonstrated that this enhanced growth is a result of the important role for 1A in cell death. In addition, we have recent evidence that 1A may have a more important role in regulating the duration of the inflammatory response. This project will examine how 1A regulates inflammation, identify key elements cooperating with 1A in regulating inflammation, and determine if genetic changes within 1A exists in patients with IBD. Our work may directly aid in the development of an early diagnostic tool for IBD and offer an alterative method of drug intervention.