The role of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein pathway in the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer
The Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) is a signaling pathway which is crucial in maintaining tissue homeostasis due to its role in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. A disruption of normal BMP signaling has been shown to contribute to tumorigenesis of multiple cancers including colorectal cancers. In the intestines, BMP signaling is reported to have a role in the formation of intestinal polyps, its progression towards invasive carcinomas and metastasis. Our groups focuses on elucidating the tumorigenic role of BMP signaling in not only epithelial cells but also in stromal components such as mesenchymal (myo)fibroblast by using several in vivo mouse models and advanced (3D) in vitro models. Another focus point of the group is deciphering the beneficial role of statin use in colon cancer patients. Previous research of our group shows that the observed reduced risk of death from cancer due to statin use probably acts through the BMP pathway. A large series of colorectal cancer tissue specimens is currently being studied and linked to clinicopathological characteristics to further research and validate the necessity of BMP signaling in order for statin use to be beneficial.
Sarah Ouahoud graduated from Biomedical Sciences (University of Leiden) in 2017 and started her PhD at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology department under the supervision of Prof. Dr. James Hardwick and Dr. Luuk Hawinkels
Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
2333 ZA Leiden
2300 RC Leiden