Research Direction and Activities
The mission of the division centers on laboratory and clinical research to develop the novel strategies and modalities for diagnosis and treatment of the gastrointestinal and refractory cancers. Research projects are based on molecular and cellular characteristics of individual tumor types that are relevant to invasive and metastatic potential, recurrence and outcome. Our current efforts are focused on:
1) Molecular mechanism underlying oncogenic signaling
(1) Deregulated Wnt/-catenin signaling
(2) Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)-mediated signaling
2) Molecular basis of gastrointestinal and refractory cancers for clinical translation
3) Establishment of tissue material resources of human gastrointestinal cancer
We are intending to translate as much the achievements created from these studies as possible to the fields responsible for diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in clinical setting.
RNA trans-factor CRD-BP is a previously unrecognized transcription target of -catenin/Tcf complex, and stabilizes mRNA of -TrCP1 (-transducin repeats-containing protein 1), IB and c-Myc. CRD-BP is a novel cancer target that integrates multiple oncogenic signaling pathways (Nature June 15, 2006; Cancer Res Nov 15, 2009).
Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) supports and promotes tumor cells’ survival and proliferation, and protects them from apoptosis in cancers developed in the major digestive organs, the results warrant proposing this kinase as a novel target in cancer treatment (PCT/JP 2006/300160).