“Fight for a brighter colon!”
It’s deadly! It’s everywhere! Even it’s very name strikes terror into the hearts of men! It’s colon cancer! But do not despair for we believe we have found a way to put a leash on this ravenous beast. With our trusty pipettes in one hand we as METU HS iGEM Team fight for a brighter colon!
Colon cancer is a widespread disease which is the fourth most common cancer type throughout the world. (National Cancer Institute, 2016) After, reading numerous articles about cancer types, we focused on colon cancer as it is directly related to alimentation and exercising.In colon cancer, polyp formation is observed. They are abnormal growths in colon’s inner surface. Polyps are benign (non-cancerous) growths, but cancer can start in some types of them; like Adenomatous polyps.
WHAT WE DO?
Cancer is a widespread disesase that affects 8.2 million deaths in a year. Among more than 100 types of cancer, colon cancer is the 3rd common type in both genders. It usually begins as a growth called polyp in the colon tissue. Polyps can progress and become carcinomas which are malignant/cancerous cells that can invade other tissues. As it is one of the most lethal diseases we decided to work on it. iGEM is a competition that allowed us to accomplish our goals by synthetic biology. We wanted our genetically modified E.coli to bind to cancerous cells and treat them with our agent. Our project consists of two stages; binding and treatment. For binding stage we used a protein named FimH, the structure that is responsible for the binding of E.coli. To make this binding specific to tumor cells we used a tumor specific binding peptide, RPMrel. For the second stage binding, we used a short chain fatty acid, butyrate. Butyrate prevents cancer by inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis and differentiation.
We, METU HS iGEM Team, wanted to contribute to health researches all around the world. As it is the most lethal disease, we preferred to study cancer. We read numerous articles about cancer types and treatments. After so many research we decided to work on colon cancer because it is one of the most common cancer type in the world and also it is directly related to alimentation and exercising. As nowadays people tend to move less, can’t find time to exercise daily and the diet of most people consists processed food, we thought that we can enlighten people about eating healthy and exercising regularly. It was a great opportunity for us to go beyond the lab.