Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Genomic instability and cellular stress in organ biopsies and peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with colorectal cancer and predisposing pathologies

Sara Lombardi _, Ilenia Fuoco, Giorgia di Fluri, Francesco Costa, Angelo Ricchiuti, Graziano Biondi, Vincenzo Nardini and Roberto Scarpato

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:14852-14864. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4032

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Sara Lombardi1,5, Ilenia Fuoco1,5, Giorgia di Fluri2, Francesco Costa2, Angelo Ricchiuti2, Graziano Biondi3, Vincenzo Nardini4, Roberto Scarpato1,5

1Unità di Genetica, Dipartimento di Biologia, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

2Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Unità Operativa di Gastroenterologia, Pisa, Italy

3Azienda USL 5, Unità Operativa Chirurgia, Ospedale F. Lotti, Pontedera, Italy

4Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Unità Operativa di Anatomia e Istologia Patologica 2, Pisa, Italy

5Research Center Nutraceuticals and Food for Health-Nutrafood, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Correspondence to:

Roberto Scarpato, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer, genomic instability, γH2AX, GSTO1, micronuclei

Received: May 06, 2015     Accepted: May 11, 2015     Published: May 23, 2015


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and polyps, are common colorectal pathologies in western society and are risk factors for development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Genomic instability is a cancer hallmark and is connected to changes in chromosomal structure, often caused by double strand break formation (DSB), and aneuploidy. Cellular stress, may contribute to genomic instability. In colorectal biopsies and peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with IBD, polyps and CRC, we evaluated 1) genomic instability using the γH2AX assay as marker of DSB and micronuclei in mononuclear lymphocytes kept under cytodieresis inhibition, and 2) cellular stress through expression and cellular localization of glutathione-S-transferase omega 1 (GSTO1). Colon biopsies showed γH2AX increase starting from polyps, while lymphocytes already from IBD. Micronuclei frequency began to rise in lymphocytes of subjects with polyps, suggesting a systemic genomic instability condition. Colorectal tissues lost GSTO1 expression but increased nuclear localization with pathology progression. Lymphocytes did not change GSTO1 expression and localization until CRC formation, where enzyme expression was increased. We propose that the growing genomic instability found in our patients is connected with the alteration of cellular environment. Evaluation of genomic damage and cellular stress in colorectal pathologies may facilitate prevention and management of CRC.

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