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AbstractMucinous colorectal cancer (CRC) is estimated to occur in approximately 10-15% of CRC cases and is characterized by abundant extracellular mucin. Mucinous CRC is frequently associated with resistance to apoptosis. Inferior prognosis is observed in mucinous CRC, particularly in rectal cancer and metastatic cases. Mucins are heavily glycosylated secretory or transmembrane proteins that participate in protection of the colonic epithelium. MUC2 overexpression is a hallmark of mucinous CRCs. Mucinous CRC is associated with KRAS and BRAF mutation, microsatellite instability and the CpG island methylator phenotype. Mutations of the APC gene and p53 mutations which are characteristic non-mucinous colorectal adenocarcinoma are less common in mucinous CRC. Both physical and anti-apoptotic properties of mucin provide mechanisms for resistance to cell death. Mucin glycoproteins are associated with decreased expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, increased expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and increased cell survival signaling. The role for BCL-2 proteins, including BCL-XL, in preventing apoptosis in mucinous CRC has been explored to a limited extent. Additional mechanisms opposing cell death include altered death receptor expression and altered mutation rates in genes responsible for chemotherapy resistance. The roles of alternate cell death programs including necroptosis and pyroptosis are not well understood in mucinous CRC. While the presence of MUC2 is associated with an immunosuppressive environment, the tumor immune environment of mucinous CRC and the role of immune-mediated tumor cell death likewise require further investigation. Improved understanding of cell death mechanisms in mucinous CRC may allow modification of currently used regimens and facilitate targeted treatment.
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- Issue date: 2006 Jun 1
- Mucinous colorectal adenocarcinoma: clinical pathology and treatment options.
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- Issue date: 2019 Mar 29
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- Issue date: 2015 Jun 15
- Prognostic Implications of Mucinous Differentiation in Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma Can Be Explained by Distinct Molecular and Clinicopathologic Characteristics.
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- Issue date: 2018 Dec