(WASHINGTON) – On Wednesday, researchers held two genes responsible for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Researchers from Cincinnati Cancer Center and Susan Waltz, a researcher at University of Cincinnati (UC), together with other scientists in the lab have done the first genetic study to highlight the significant function of the Ron receptor. It is a cell surface protein frequently observed in certain cancers. The protein’s genetic growth factor is responsible not only for inducing cell growth but also the growth and progression of inflammatory bowel disease.
Waltz, a professor from the Cancer Biology Department at UC, said that studies focusing genome-wide linkage have named the Ron receptor as Tyrosine Kinase and have also identified its Hepatocyte growth factor-like protein (HGFL) as genes highly linked with IBD. He asserts that very less information is available on the function of HGFL or Ron in IBD. Furthermore, on the basis of the association of Ron with IBD, they were also able to analyze its biological role in colitis, a disorder leading to the swelling of the large intestine.
Waltz together with Rishikesh Kulkarni, another postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at UC, used different animal models along with colitis. They found that one genetic knockout group possessed Ron, but the other group didn’t.
She said,”We found that genetic loss of Ron led to aggressive inflammation and damage to the colon of models with IBD.”
Furthermore, the loss of Ron led to significant loss of body weight along with a marked decrease in colon tissue cell growth. It also resulted in enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine production which was linked with changes in significant signaling pathways best known to influence IBD.
The outcomes of the study have now been published in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.