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The bacterium secretes a protein called NleH1 that directs the host immune enzyme IKK-beta to alter specific immune responses.
Before the experiments, he speculated that, by preventing programmed cell death and encouraging inflammation, IKK-beta also promotes the emergence and growth of tumors.
To show the protein's role in tumor development, Karin and his team genetically engineered mice to lack the gene for IKK-beta in specific parts of their bodies.
The mice without intestinal IKK-beta had one-fourth as many tumors as did the normal mice, the researchers report in the Aug.
In the second experiment, researchers deleted IKK-beta from bone marrow cells.
White blood cells missing IKK-beta don't rush to a tumor, which therefore gets fewer nutrients and grows more slowly.
IKK-beta thus assists tumor growth in different ways in different types of cells, says Karin.
The anti-inflammatory drug worked by neutralizing IKK-beta, an inflammatory secretion associated with obesity, say the researchers.
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