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 August 20, 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 August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 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