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The regulatory function of sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling axis on regulatory T cells in colorectal cancer

1 Department of Biological Sciences and Geology, The City University of New York-Queensborough, 222 56;
th Avenue, Room 202 Medical Arts, Bayside, NY, USA;
2 MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Queen's Medical Research Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK;
3 Department of Medicine, Cancer Center Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park, Bronx, NY, USA. Current address: Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology. Oregon Health & Science University. Room 5341 Richard Jones Hall. 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd. Portland, OR. 97239-3098, USA

Special Issues: Role of the bioactive sphingolipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate, in health and diseases

In tumors associated with inflammation such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC), high numbers of regulatory T cells (Tregs) are associated with both favorable and poor prognoses. The functions of Tregs in CRC remain elusive and have yet to be clearly defined. With new evidence supporting many subsets of Tregs, the research on the development and functions of these cells has begun to come to fruition. The sphingosine 1 phosphate (S1P) pathway was recently reported to regulate the development and function of regulatory T cells. This pathway may shine new light into the pleiotropic nature of these cells in cancer. In this review, we will examine current literature on the many functions of Tregs in CRC and highlight the significance of the S1P signaling pathway in Treg development/function with the implication of novel therapeutic strategies in treatment of CRC patients.
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