Life (Basel). 2020 Sep 18;10(9):E211. doi: 10.3390/life10090211.
Periodontitis has been associated with an increased risk of and mortality associated with human colorectal cancer (CRC). Current evidence attributes such an association to the direct and indirect effects of virulence factors belonging to periodontal pathogens, to inflammatory mediators and to genetic factors. The aims of the study were to assess the existence of a genetic linkage between periodontitis and human CRC, to identify genes considered predominant in such a linkage, thus named leader
genes, and to determine pathogenic mechanisms related to the products of leader genes. Genes linking periodontitis and CRC were identified and classified in order of predominance, through an experimental investigation, performed via computer simulation, employing the leader gene approach. Pathogenic mechanisms relating to leader genes were determined through cross-search databases. Of the 83 genes linking periodontitis and CRC, 12 were classified as leader genes and were pathogenically implicated in cell cycle regulation and in the immune-inflammatory response. The current results, obtained via computer simulation and requiring further validation, support the existence of a genetic linkage between periodontitis and CRC. Cell cycle dysregulation and the alteration of the immuno-inflammatory response constitute the pathogenic mechanisms related to the products of leader genes.