New research from across the Sansom, Bushell, Le Quesne, Norman and Coffelt labs at the CRUK Scotland Institute released on BioRxiv has shown that eIF4A1 is specifically required to support the translational demands of oncogenic Wnt signalling. The team report the suppression of intestinal tumourigenesis in colorectal cancer models following loss of eIF4A1 and argue that deregulated/increased translational reprogramming should be considered a prerequisite/hallmark of cancer and not simply a marker of increased proliferation.

New research published in Matrix Biology Plus by Sara Zanivan’s group has provided a step forward in the study of high-grade serous (HGS) omental metastasis with the proposal of a newly developed, clinically and physiologically relevant matrix: omentum gel (OmGel). OmGel is a matrix made from tumour-associated omental tissue of HGS ovarian cancer patients that has unprecedented similarity to the extracellular matrix of HGS omental tumours. OmGel has been shown to perform as well or better than the widely used Matrigel and did not induce additional phenotypic changes to ovarian cancer cells.

Nature Communications has published work by Martin Bushell and Aldo Bader that describes iMUT-seq – a technique that profiles DNA double strand break (DSB)-induced mutations at a high sensitivity and single-nucleotide resolution around endogenous DSBs. This paper shows for the first time that scars introduced into the DNA sequence following DSBs are not just at the break site but also at a distance from the damage site. The team went on to determine the main mechanism by which these errors are introduced. Homologous-recombination (HR) repair, which was previously believed to be error free, is introducing errors at a distance from the break site and these errors are due to the polymerase used in this process.