Colon Cancer: Genomics and Apoptotic Events

Biol Chem. 2004 Jun;385(6):449-64. doi: 10.1515/BC.2004.053.

Abstract

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer globally. The risk of developing colon cancer is influenced by a number of factors that include age and diet, but is primarily a genetic disease, resulting from oncogene over-expression and tumour suppressor gene inactivation. The induction and progression of the disease is briefly outlined, as are the cellular changes that occur in its progression. While colon cancer is uniformly amenable to surgery if detected at the early stages, advanced carcinomas are usually lethal, with metastases to the liver being the most common cause of death. Oncogenes and genetic mutations that occur in colon cancer are featured. The molecules and signals that act to eradicate or initiate the apoptosis cascade in cancer cells, are elucidated, and these include caspases, Fas, Bax, Bid, APC, antisense hTERT, PUMA, 15-LOX-1, ceramide, butyrate, tributyrin and PPARgamma, whereas the molecules which promote colon cancer cell survival are p53 mutants, Bcl-2, Neu3 and COX-2. Cancer therapies aimed at controlling colon cancer are reviewed briefly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male