Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Detrimental weight loss: Scientists discover link between fat-cleaving enzymes and cancer-associated cachexia

Date:
July 22, 2011
Source:
Österreichisches Genomforschungsprogramm GEN-AU
Summary:
Scientists in Austria have now directly linked lipid metabolism and cancer-associated cachexia. The researchers report that mice deficient in the lipid degrading enzyme adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) are fully protected against cancer-associated cachexia.

Many serious diseases like cancer or AIDS cause cachexia, a life-threatening condition with extensive weight loss. The term cachexia is derived from the Greek word κακός ἕξις (kakos hexis), meaning bad condition. Cachexia is not caused by reduced calorie intake but is the result of a complex, pathological process not yet fully understood. Besides fat loss the patient also experiences massive muscle wasting. Weakened patients are less tolerant of treatment like radiation or chemotherapy and are more prone to infections. It is estimated that about one third of cancer patients do not die from their primary disease but from cachexia -- for some types of cancer the percentage is even higher.

Scientists from Graz, Austria, have now directly linked lipid metabolism and cancer-associated cachexia. The researchers report in Science Express (June 16, 2011) that mice deficient in the lipid degrading enzyme adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) are fully protected against cancer-associated cachexia. The research teams of Gerald Hoefler (Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Austria) and Rudolf Zechner (Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Austria) demonstrated that, despite unchanged growth of the tumor, neither loss of fat tissue nor muscle mass was observed in the animals. Mice lacking another key enzyme in the breakdown of fat, hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), were at least partly protected. This discovery seems to be relevant also for human patients: ATGL and HSL activities in cachectic cancer patients are significantly higher than in normal weight patients.

The close and interdisciplinary collaboration of researches from the Medical University of Graz and the University of Graz were the prerequisite for these ground-breaking findings. The scientists involved have been closely cooperating within the team grants SFB LIPOTOX (funded by the Austrian Science Foundation, FWF) and GOLD -- Genomics Of Lipid-associated Disorders within GEN-AU (funded by FFG and the Austrian Ministry of Science and Education).

In 2004 Zechner and his team published the discovery of a novel lipid cleaving enzyme in Science. They showed that ATGL is responsible for the first step in the breakdown of neutral lipids (triacylglycerols). The current findings provide a promising new therapeutic strategy for treating cachexia in cancer patients -- a patent application is pending. Drugs inhibiting the lipolytic activities of ATGL and HSL may prevent cachexia and significantly increase both the survival rate and the quality of life of patients affected.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Österreichisches Genomforschungsprogramm GEN-AU. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. K. Das, S. Eder, S. Schauer, C. Diwoky, H. Temmel, B. Guertl, G. Gorkiewicz, K. P. Tamilarasan, P. Kumari, M. Trauner, R. Zimmermann, P. Vesely, G. Haemmerle, R. Zechner, G. Hoefler. Adipose Triglyceride Lipase Contributes to Cancer-Associated Cachexia. Science, 2011; 333 (6039): 233 DOI: 10.1126/science.1198973

Cite This Page:

Österreichisches Genomforschungsprogramm GEN-AU. "Detrimental weight loss: Scientists discover link between fat-cleaving enzymes and cancer-associated cachexia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721102028.htm>.
Österreichisches Genomforschungsprogramm GEN-AU. (2011, July 22). Detrimental weight loss: Scientists discover link between fat-cleaving enzymes and cancer-associated cachexia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721102028.htm
Österreichisches Genomforschungsprogramm GEN-AU. "Detrimental weight loss: Scientists discover link between fat-cleaving enzymes and cancer-associated cachexia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721102028.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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