Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Wasting, Muscular Dystrophy Show Common Change

Date:
November 28, 2005
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
New research shows that a wasting condition responsible for nearly a third of all cancer deaths involves the loss of an essential muscle protein that is also lost in people with muscular dystrophy. The findings provide a better understanding of cancer wasting, also known as cancer cachexia, a condition first described more than 100 years ago that still lacks effective therapy. The findings also might lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

New research shows that a wasting condition responsible for nearly a third of all cancer deaths involves the loss of an essential muscle protein that is also lost in people with muscular dystrophy.

The findings provide a better understanding of cancer wasting, also known as cancer cachexia, a condition first described more than 100 years ago that still lacks effective therapy. The findings also might lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

The study, led by researchers with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, is published in the November issue of the journal Cancer Cell.

The research shows that muscle cells lose significant amounts of the protein dystrophin during cancer wasting, and that subtle changes occur in two other proteins associated with dystrophin in the membrane of muscle cells. These proteins form the dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC). Dystrophin and DGC are also lost in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

“The loss of dystrophin and damage to the DGC appear to be key players in the development of both cancer wasting and muscular dystrophy,” says principal investigator Denis C. Guttridge, assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and cancer genetics and a researcher with the OSU Human Cancer Genetics Program, “although the damage to muscle cells seen in cancer cachexia is not as severe as that seen in muscular dystrophy.”

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that usually begins in childhood and results in the complete loss of dystrophin and the DGC from muscle.

Cancer wasting occurs most often in esophageal, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic, lung, and head and neck cancers. The condition is induced by growth of the tumor, and it results in the loss of both fat and skeletal muscle mass.

Cancer patients who develop wasting usually respond more poorly to therapy and have a shorter life span and lower quality of life.

Guttridge and a group of colleagues began this study after noticing that mice with cancer cachexia showed damage to the membranes of their muscle cells, as in muscular dystrophy. This caused them to suspect that dystrophin and the DGC might be involved.

In muscle cells, the long, thin dystrophin molecule joins the cell skeleton to the DGC located in the membrane. The DGC is a cluster of proteins that extends from the membrane into the surrounding tissue and anchors the muscle cell in place. Dystrophin works like a shock absorber during muscle contraction.

“Dystrophin prevents the cell membrane from being torn by the shear forces produced during muscle contraction,” says first author Swarnali Acharyya, a pre-doctoral student in Guttridge's laboratory.

The researchers found that dystrophin levels were reduced in the muscles of mice with cancer cachexia, and that two DGC proteins were altered. The researchers then showed that cachexia is accelerated in mice that lack dystrophin and develop cancer. Furthermore, they showed that they could prevent cancer wasting in the mice by causing their muscle cells to over-produce dystrophin.

Last, the researchers tested muscle biopsies from 27 patients with gastrointestinal cancers for dystrophin and DGC. Eleven of the patients were confirmed cachectic, and ten of those showed dramatic reductions in dystrophin and significant loss of the DGC.

Overall, Guttridge says, “our evidence strongly suggests that the loss of dystrophin and the DGC are important contributing factors in tumor-induced muscle wasting.”

Other OSU researchers involved in this study were Matthew E. R. Butchback, Zarife Sahenk, Huating Wang, Motoyasu Saji, Michael Carathers, Matthew D. Ringel, Peter Muscarella, Arthur H. M. Burghes and Jill A. Rafael-Fortney.

Funding from the National Cancer Institute and the V Foundation supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Cancer Wasting, Muscular Dystrophy Show Common Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128075713.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2005, November 28). Cancer Wasting, Muscular Dystrophy Show Common Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128075713.htm
Ohio State University. "Cancer Wasting, Muscular Dystrophy Show Common Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051128075713.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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