Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parasite Growth Hormone Pushes Human Cells To Liver Cancer

Date:
October 13, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Scientists have found that the human liver fluke (Opisthorchis viverrini) contributes to the development of bile duct (liver) cancer by secreting granulin, a growth hormone that is known to cause uncontrolled growth of cells.

Scientists have found that the human liver fluke (Opisthorchis viverrini) contributes to the development of bile duct (liver) cancer by secreting granulin, a growth hormone that is known to cause uncontrolled growth of cells. Details are published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

Related Articles


Drs Michael Smout and Alex Loukas from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, with collaborators at Khon Kaen University and George Washington University, say they are excited by the novel discovery which shows that a growth hormone from a parasite can affect human cells.

"It was known that O. viverrini secreted proteins cause cell growth, but the identity of the protein was unknown. We also knew that the parasite secreted granulin but we did not know that it could affect the human cells around it," said Dr Loukas.

Scientists used E. coli bacteria to express the O. viverrini granulin, which was shown to induce proliferation in mouse fibroblast cells and human bile duct cancer cells in the absence of the parasite. Proliferation of the cells was halted by adding anti-granulin antibody, thus proving granulin's role in producing a cancerous environment.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies the human liver fluke as a Group I Carcinogen, meaning that O. viverrini is a proven cause of cancer. In northern Thailand, where the liver fluke is most common, more than 7 million people are infected at any given time.

Previously, it was thought that the cancer was caused by the physical damage brought about by the fluke feeding on cells lining the bile ducts, as well as a diet high in nitrosamines from fermented fish (a native dish of Thailand). Smout, Loukas and colleagues now suggest that the granulin secreted by the parasite is a major contributing factor to developing bile duct cancer.

"This discovery leads the way to a better understanding of how this parasite causes such a devastating form of cancer," said Dr. Loukas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Smout et al. A Granulin-Like Growth Factor Secreted by the Carcinogenic Liver Fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini, Promotes Proliferation of Host Cells. PLoS Pathogens, 2009; 5 (10): e1000611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000611

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Parasite Growth Hormone Pushes Human Cells To Liver Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009090429.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, October 13). Parasite Growth Hormone Pushes Human Cells To Liver Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009090429.htm
Public Library of Science. "Parasite Growth Hormone Pushes Human Cells To Liver Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009090429.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