APC Proteins pp 85-106 | Cite as

APC and Its Modifiers in Colon Cancer

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 656)

Abstract

Colon cancer closely follows the paradigm of a single “gatekeeper gene.” Mutations inactivating the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene are found in ∼80% of all human colon tumors and heterozygosity for such mutations produces an autosomal dominant colon cancer predisposition in humans and in murine models. However, this tight association between a single genotype and phenotype belies a complex association of genetic and epigenetic factors that together generate the broad phenotypic spectrum of both familial and sporadic colon cancers. In this Chapter, we give a general overview of the structure, function and outstanding issues concerning the role of Apc in human and experimental colon cancer. The availability of increasingly close models for human colon cancer in genetically tractable animal species enables the discovery and eventual molecular identification of genetic modifiers of the Apc-mutant phenotypes, connecting the central role of Apc in colon carcinogenesis to the myriad factors that ultimately determine the course of the disease.

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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McArdle Laboratory for Cancer ResearchUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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