Biomedicine

Innate Immunity and Tumor Growth

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Science  24 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5764, pp. 1075
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5764.1075b

The Nod-like family of receptors of the intraepithelial cell are considered important sensors of pathogenic bacteria. Nod1 is activated by bacterial peptidoglycan and is associated with apoptotic pathways in the cell.

Using retroviral mutagenesis in a human breast cancer epithelial cell line (MCF-7), da Silva Correia et al. tested the possibility that the proapoptotic character of Nod1 might be involved in another context where the regulation of cell death is critical. In a Nod1-deficient MCF-7 clone, the sensitivity to tumor necrosis factor α-induced cell death and the apoptotic response to the specific Nod1 activator diaminopimelic acid were both greatly reduced. The disruption of Nod1 also resulted in an increased ability of the MCF-7 clone to generate tumors in immunodeficient mice and an enhanced sensitivity to estrogen-induced tumor growth. It will be interesting to explore how a bacterial cell wall detector is involved in regulating tumor growth and whether this might afford a therapeutic opportunity. — SJS

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 103, 1840 (2006).

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