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Status: 09.07.2020 19:15:34

Image Selenium and Colon Cancer

Start-up Lab Selenium and Colon Cancer (SEC)

The group existed from January 1, 2012 to September 30, 2016.


Field of research

We investigate the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the function of the micronutrient selenium, with a special focus on colorectal carcinogenesis.


Selenium is incorporated into proteins and is thus involved in many physiological as well as pathophysiological processes. Within a given concentration range, anti-carcinogenic effects of selenium have been demonstrated in large human intervention trials. Such effects were most convincing for tumor development in lung, prostate and colon. It is, however, not clear whether these properties are exerted by selenium itself or by one of the 25 human selenoproteins. The precise function of many selenoproteins is not yet known, making it rather difficult to make reliable recommendations for an optimal selenium intake.


We aim to analyze the function of selenoproteins in the healthy intestine and during inflammation and colorectal cancer development. The focus of our research is on glutathione peroxidase 2 (GPx2), and on additional selenoproteins expressed in the intestinal epithelium. Furthermore, we investigate the effects of a suboptimal selenium supply, which is prevalent in the German population.

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