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Study Points to Colorectal Cancer Risk Gene, 'Super Enhancer' Influenced by Inflammation

In Nature Communications, an Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai-led team presents evidence for a super enhancer complex that regulates the apparent colorectal carcinoma driver gene PDZK1IP1 and responds to inflammatory features in the tumor microenvironment. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing focused on the H3K27ac epigenetic histone modification, the investigators profiled potential super enhancer sequences in fresh tumor and normal samples from 15 colon cancer patients undergoing surgery, focusing in on recurrent super enhancers that respond to inflammatory cytokines and boost PDZK1IP1 gene expression. In contrast, they found that targeting one of the super enhancers with CRISPR-based gene editing could dial down PDZK1IP1 expression and curb xenograft colorectal cancer tumor models in mice. "What this means for most patients with colon cancer is that inflammation that's occurring in the tumor is contributing to the tumor's growth," senior author Ramon Parsons, director of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's Tisch Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "This stresses the importance of understanding what we can do to curb the inflammatory effects in the colon through prevention or understanding what dietary effects might have on the microenvironment in the colon."

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.