Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finding May Explain Link Between Alcohol And Certain Cancers

Date:
August 3, 2005
Source:
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Summary:
Drinking alcoholic beverages has been linked to an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal cancer and other cancers. Researchers looking for the potential biochemical basis for this link have focused on acetaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen formed as the body metabolizes alcohol. In the journal Nucleic Acids Research, scientists from the NIAAA and NIST report that polyamines react with acetaldehyde to trigger a series of reactions that damage DNA, which can lead to the formation of cancer.

Drinking alcoholic beverages has been linked to an increased risk ofupper gastrointestinal cancer and other types of cancer. Researcherslooking for the potential biochemical basis for this link have focusedon acetaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen formed as the body metabolizesalcohol. In the journal Nucleic Acids Research, scientists from theNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and theNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report thatpolyamines -- natural compounds essential for cell growth -- react withacetaldehyde to trigger a series of reactions that damage DNA, an eventthat can lead to the formation of cancer.

"We've long suspected acetaldehyde's role in the carcinogenicity ofalcohol beverage consumption, but this study gives us important newclues about its involvement," says Ting-Kai Li, M.D., director of theNIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health. "This work providesan important framework for understanding the underlying chemicalpathway that could explain the association between drinking and certaintypes of cancer."

The research team, led by P.J. Brooks, Ph.D., of NIAAA andMiral Dizdaroglu, Ph.D., of NIST, examined acetaldehyde's reaction withpolyamines, small molecules found in all cells. "Polyamines are usuallyconsidered 'good guys,' because they have been shown to protect DNAfrom oxidative damage," says Dr. Brooks. Yet the researchers found thepolyamines facilitated the conversion of acetaldehyde intocrotonaldehyde (CrA), an environmental pollutant that has been shown tocause cancer in animals. This chemical in turn altered DNA, generatingan abnormal, mutagenic DNA base called a Cr-PdG adduct. Dr. Brookssays, "We concluded that polyamines stimulated the formation of Cr-PdGadducts from acetaldehyde, and this may provide a mechanism to explainhow alcohol consumption increases the risk of some types of cancer."

Previous studies had shown acetaldehyde could be converted tomutagenic Cr-PdG, but those studies used very high acetaldehydeconcentrations. "We were able to demonstrate that these reactions cantake place with acetaldehyde concentrations that have been measured inhuman saliva during alcohol consumption," says Dr. Brooks.

An important part of this research was a new chemical analysismethod developed at NIST. According to Dr. Dizdaroglu, "This novelchemical assay is a powerful method that accurately measures the Cr-PdGadduct."

George Kunos, M.D., Ph.D., director of NIAAA's Division ofIntramural Clinical and Biological Research, says, "These findings alsohave significant implications for researchers seeking to understand howgenes affect the risk for cancer." Many studies have shown that certaingenetic variants that affect alcohol and acetaldehyde metabolism canalso affect individual susceptibility to alcohol-relatedgastrointestinal cancer. Dr. Kunos adds, "This work could serve as aroadmap for future studies to investigate other genetic factors,particularly those that influence DNA repair pathways, in relation toalcohol consumption and cancer."

###

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component ofthe National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices, conducts and supports approximately 90 percent of U.S.research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment ofalcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol problems and disseminatesresearch findings to science, practitioner, policy making and generalaudiences. Additional alcohol research information and publications areavailable at www.niaaa.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Finding May Explain Link Between Alcohol And Certain Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803173445.htm>.
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2005, August 3). Finding May Explain Link Between Alcohol And Certain Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803173445.htm
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Finding May Explain Link Between Alcohol And Certain Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803173445.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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