Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Discover That A Protein In Grape Skins Can Kill Cancer Cells

Date:
May 28, 2004
Source:
University Of Virginia Health System
Summary:
It's well known that drinking red wine in moderation can have some health benefits, mainly attributed to a compound called resveratrol. Now, scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered how.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 25 – It's well known that drinking red wine in moderation can have some health benefits, mainly attributed to a compound called resveratrol. Now, scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered how.

They found how resveratrol helps to starve cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a key protein that feeds them. The protein, called nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-kB), is found in the nucleus of all cells and activates genes responsible for cell survival. "We used physiologically-relevant doses of resveratrol and found dramatic effects on human cancer cells," said Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at U.Va.

Mayo said that the resveratrol in one glasses of wine three or four times a week is the right amount to block the protein from feeding cancer cells. Drinking much more than that, however, could stop this affect and, in fact, lead to a greater risk of cancer, he said.

The findings, discovered by Fan Yeung, a postdoctoral fellow at U.Va., are published in the May 20 online edition of the Journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) found at: http://embojournal.npgjournals.com.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Its job in nature is to fight fungus during the rainy season, and it is especially prevalent in grapes used in making red wine. Resveratrol is also sold over-the-counter in the U.S. as a nutritional supplement.

For a number of years, scientists have known that resveratrol acts as an anti-cancer agent, but its role has not been well understood. Mayo and his team demonstrated that cancer cells treated with resveratrol died because they became sensitive to a compound called Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa). The U.Va. Health System researchers found that resveratrol initiated a reaction in the NF-kB molecule that caused the cancer cells essentially to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis.

The use of NF-kB inhibitors like resveratrol also has important implications for increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapy. "Researchers are always looking for ways to improve cancer therapy," Mayo said. "Current studies are using compounds similar to TNFa in conjunction with resveratrol to kill cancer cells." Clinical trials using this approach in patients are showing encouraging results, Mayo said, and this research may explain why this combined therapy is effective.

Previous studies have also shown that resveratrol can help control atherosclerosis, heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Mayo believes the inhibition of NF-kB may be responsible in those disorders, as well, since NF-kB can control inflammatory responses.

Mayo's research on resveratrol was funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Paul Mellon Prostate Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Virginia Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Virginia Health System. "Researchers Discover That A Protein In Grape Skins Can Kill Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526065457.htm>.
University Of Virginia Health System. (2004, May 28). Researchers Discover That A Protein In Grape Skins Can Kill Cancer Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526065457.htm
University Of Virginia Health System. "Researchers Discover That A Protein In Grape Skins Can Kill Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526065457.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins