Regulation of normal and cancerous intestinal stem cell dynamics by PHLDA1

Regulation of normal and cancerous intestinal stem cell dynamics by PHLDA1

Project details

Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) produce all epithelial cell lineages of the human intestine and are the cells-of-origin of intestinal cancer.

Major pathways required for ISC maintenance have been identified, but regulation of stem cell dynamics remains poorly understood. We have discovered PHLDA1 as an ISC marker, and have shown that PHLDA1 suppression inhibits intestinal tumour growth (Sakthianandeswaren et al, Cancer Research, 2011, 71:10 3709-3719).

This project will use a newly developed model system to investigate the role of PHLDA1 in normal and cancer stem cell dynamics. Cell biology studies will identify the pathways that mediate PHLDA1 functions, and analyses of patient tumour specimens will elucidate clinical relevance. These studies will provide important insights into fundamental stem cell biology of the normal intestinal epithelium and human cancer.


About our research group

Our research group aims to understand the genetic changes that contribute to bowel cancer. In particular, we are interested in the aberrant molecules that influence a person’s risk of developing bowel cancer, the course of disease in a bowel cancer patient, and the response of their cancer to therapy. 

Bowel cancers vary greatly in the genes and proteins they express, and their clinical behaviour. We are working to define different subtypes of bowel cancer based on the molecules they express.  Our goal is to link this to disease progression and sensitivity to anti-cancer treatments. We hope this will lead to significant new insights into fundamental tumour biology and open new avenues for diagnosis and treatment.



Associate Professor Oliver Sieber

Oliver Sieber
Associate Professor
Acting Division Head
Dr Anuratha Sakthianandeswaren profile shot
Systems Biology and Personalised Medicine division

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