Sox9 protein enables molecular ‘time travel’ that can lead to colorectal cancer

Normally the lining of the colon forms a series of steep hills and valleys. At the surface, where the hills peak, are functional colon cells that do the organ’s work of absorption and secretion. Deep in the valleys are stem cells that constantly renew those functional cells. New research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that the cells in those valleys can go through a transition before cancer begins.

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