Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death

Date:
April 17, 2008
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have apparently solved the riddle of why cancer cells like sugar so much, and it may be a mechanism that could lead to better cancer treatments. They have found that tumor cells use glucose sugar as a way to avoid programmed cell death.

Researchers at the Duke School of Medicine apparently have solved the riddle of why cancer cells like sugar so much, and it may be a mechanism that could lead to better cancer treatments.

Related Articles


Jonathan Coloff, a graduate student in Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rathmell's laboratory in the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, has found that the tumor cells use glucose sugar as a way to avoid programmed cell death. They make use of a protein called Akt, which promotes glucose metabolism, which in turn regulates a family of proteins critical for cell survival, the researchers shared during an April 15 presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego.

In normal cells, growth factors regulate metabolism and cell survival. Removing these factors leads to loss of glucose uptake and metabolism and cell death. Cancer cells, however, maintain glucose metabolism and resist cell death, even when deprived of growth factors.

To study how Akt might affect these processes, Coloff and colleagues introduced a cancer-causing form of Akt called myrAkt, into cells that depend on growth factor to survive. The mutant form of Akt allowed cells to maintain glucose usage and survive even when no growth factors were present, allowing them to bypass a normal safeguard used by cells to prevent cancer development.

The death of normal cells after growth factors are removed is partly accomplished by two proteins called Mcl-1 and Puma. But the cancer-causing version of Akt prevents these two proteins from accomplishing their tasks, allowing the cell to survive when it shouldn't.

Once glucose was withdrawn from the environment, however, Akt was no longer able to maintain regulation of the key targeted proteins Mcl-1 and Puma, and the cells died.

"Akt's dependence on glucose to provide an anti-cell-death signal could be a sign of metabolic addiction to glucose in cancer cells, and could give us a new avenue for a metabolic treatment of cancer," said Dr. Rathmell.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080415194236.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2008, April 17). Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080415194236.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080415194236.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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