Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transcription factor is potential target for liver cancer treatment

Date:
July 6, 2011
Source:
Georgia Health Sciences University
Summary:
Altering the body's metabolism could be an effective treatment for deadly liver cancer, researchers report. The finding that inhibiting heat shock transcription factor 1, or HSF1, prevents liver cancer in mice also is another wake-up call that a low-fat, healthy diet is an effective cancer deterrent. HSF1 and its target genes are important to metabolism regulation.

Drs. Demetrius Moskophidis (from left), Nahid Mivechi and Xiongjie Jin have evidence that altering the metabolism could be an effective treatment for liver metabolism.
Credit: Phil Jones/GHSU photographer

Altering the body's metabolism could be an effective treatment for deadly liver cancer, researchers report.

The finding that inhibiting heat shock transcription factor 1, or HSF1, prevents liver cancer in mice also is another wake-up call that a low-fat, healthy diet is an effective cancer deterrent, said Dr. Demetrius Moskophidis, Cancer Virologist/Immunologist at Georgia Health Sciences University. HSF1 and its target genes are important to metabolism regulation.

"The principle that we demonstrated is that if we change the metabolism, we can interfere with tumor growth," said Moskophidis, co-corresponding author on the study published in Cell Metabolism.

GHSU scientists accomplished this by removing HSF1 from the mice; HSF1 inhibitors are under development because of their potential for treating a variety of other cancers such as breast, prostate and kidney cancers.

Liver cancer, among the top-10 cancer killers, is on the increase as obesity leads to fatty livers which predispose to liver cancer. Fat can damage the liver in much the say way as alcohol abuse or hepatitis, two major risk factors for liver cancer.

Removing HSF1 thwarts liver cancer by decreasing access to two critical elements: glucose and lipids or fats.

Tumors use glucose for energy as well as the rapid cell division essential to cancer growth, said Dr. Xiongjie Jin, GHSU Assistant Research Scientist and the study's first author. Cancer also needs more lipids to make membranes needed for new cells and so those cells can communicate, Jin said. Lipids also serve as an additional energy source.

Mice lacking HSF1 are hypersensitive to glucose, able to efficiently turn it into energy that can be used by the body so little can be diverted to cell division, said Dr. Nahid Mivechi, Director of the GHSU Center for Molecular Chaperone, Radiobiology and Cancer Virology and the study's corresponding author. As added bonuses, the mice stay slim even on a high-fat diet and avoid diabetes.

The mice also produce fewer lipids because they more easily make active protein kinase, or AMPK, which helps regulate energy levels and inhibits lipid synthesis, Moskophidis said. Lipid-hungry tumors don't like AMPK, he notes.

The studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, were done in genetically altered mice that were later exposed to a carcinogen known to produce cancer in 100 percent of male mice within five to seven months. Now the scientists are removing HSF1 from mice that already have cancer to see if this approach -- which better reflects how treatment would be used in humans -- works as well. They also are exploring the potential of HSF1 inhibitors in advanced breast cancer and melanoma.

They note that HSF1 levels vary normally, typically increasing after eating. In a high-metabolism, disease state such as cancer, HSF1 becomes more important, Moskophidis said. The researchers believe short-term inhibition of HSF1, as might one day be used in cancer patients, would be safe since it's one of a family of transcription factors with similar functions. However, HSF1 seems to be the family member with the biggest role in cancer.

The football-shaped liver helps the body use food and drink as energy and nutrients and helps detoxify the body. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver cancer tends to be asymptomatic until later stages of the disease. Symptoms may include fatigue, pain on the right side of the upper abdomen or around the right shoulder blade, nausea, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss or jaundice. It may be discovered during a routine checkup if a doctor feels hard lumps in the abdomen, or incidentally by imaging studies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Health Sciences University. The original article was written by Toni Baker. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiongjie Jin, Demetrius Moskophidis, Nahid F. Mivechi. Heat Shock Transcription Factor 1 Is a Key Determinant of HCC Development by Regulating Hepatic Steatosis and Metabolic Syndrome. Cell Metabolism, 2011; 14 (1): 91-103 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.03.025

Cite This Page:

Georgia Health Sciences University. "Transcription factor is potential target for liver cancer treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706104759.htm>.
Georgia Health Sciences University. (2011, July 6). Transcription factor is potential target for liver cancer treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706104759.htm
Georgia Health Sciences University. "Transcription factor is potential target for liver cancer treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706104759.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 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