New thyroid cancer gene discovered
Predisposing gene associated with Cowden syndrome
Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered a new gene associated with Cowden syndrome, an inherited condition that carries high risks of thyroid, breast, and other cancers, and a subset of non-inherited thyroid cancers, as published today in the online version of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Thyroid cancer, the most common cancer of the endocrine glands, is the fastest rising cancer in women and second fastest rising in men in the U.S. The new gene, SEC23B, discovered by Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Founding Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute within Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and Director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare, encodes a protein involved in the transport of all proteins within cells.
Dr. Eng and her team started their gene-hunting journey 3 years ago by examining a multi-generational family with early-onset thyroid cancers. They found that all affected family members had inherited a harmful mutation in this gene. The mutation was not found in any unaffected family members.
Diet lacking soluble fiber promotes weight gain, mouse study suggests
Eating too much high-fat, high-calorie food is considered the primary cause of obesity and obesity-related disease, including diabetes. While the excess calories consumed are a direct cause of the fat accumulation, scientists suspect that low-grade inflammation due to an altered gut microbiome may also be involved. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology — Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology finds in mice that a diet missing soluble fiber promotes inflammation in the intestines and poor gut health, leading to weight gain. Moreover, incorporating soluble fiber back into the diet can restore gut health.
The gut microbiota is a community of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the intestines. Microbiota also exists elsewhere on the body, including the skin and mouth. The gut microbiota has an important role in maintaining intestinal health and function, including helping the body digest food, producing vitamins and fighting foreign microorganisms. Changes to the gut microbiota have been linked to development of gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.