A comprehensive strategy to combat colon cancer targeting the adenomatous polyposis coli tumor suppressor gene

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14 Scopus citations


Somatic cells in the majority of colorectal polyps and cancers contain mutations/deletions in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene. APC is involved in normal intestinal development and acts to influence a variety of cellular processes. Loss of APC function leads to intestinal neoplasia in both mice and humans. APC influences expression of specific genes, including the c-Myc oncogene, which functions as a transcriptional activator. Loss of APC function leads to alterations in c-Myc-regulated genes including ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the first enzyme in polyamine synthesis. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ODC promoter affecting c-Myc-dependent expression has been associated with risk of colorectal and other cancers. Pharmaceuticals that target structural features of the c-Myc promoter, and suppress expression of c-Myc and other genes regulated by similar promoter elements, are being developed as potential colorectal cancer chemotherapies. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), a selective inhibitor of ODC, is under clinical evaluation as a colorectal cancer chemopreventive agent. APC and APC-dependent genes, such as c-Myc and ODC, may be useful as genetic markers of risk and as targets for chemoprevention and therapy for colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2005



  • Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene
  • Aspirin
  • c-Myc
  • Cancer chemoprevention
  • Chemotherapy
  • Colon cancer
  • Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO)
  • Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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