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Fusobacterium nucleatum

an emerging bug in colorectal tumorigenesis

Bashir, Arifa; Miskeen, Abid Y.b,c; Bhat, Ashaqullahb,c; Fazili, Khalid M.a; Ganai, Bashir A.b

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: September 2015 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 373–385
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000116
Review Article: Gastrointestinal Cancer

The human intestinal microbiota is a plethora of diverse microbial species, wherein certain bacteria considered as driver bacteria with procarcinogenic features contribute directly toward colonic epithelium cell damage to initiate colorectal carcinogenesis. However, some bacteria, in particular Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is otherwise a normal resident of the oral microflora and a relatively poor colonizer of the healthy gut, have also been considered to play a role in the development of colorectal cancer. Many studies have reported that F. nucleatum is associated with colorectal adenomas and advanced-stage colorectal cancer, but its precise role in the early stages of colorectal tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Here, we review some of the important features of F. nucleatum, its association with inflammatory bowel disease, modulation of the tumor-immune microenvironment, and E-cadherin/β-catenin signaling.

aDepartment of Biotechnology

bCentre of Research for Development, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, J&K

cDepartment of Human Genetics, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India

Correspondence to Bashir A. Ganai, PhD, Centre of Research for Development, University of Kashmir, Srinagar 190006, J&K, India Tel: +91 979 724 7851, +91 920 514 1886; fax: +91 194 227 2275;e-mails:,

Received February 4, 2014

Accepted December 3, 2014

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