Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key enzyme plays roles as both friend and foe to cancer

Date:
June 13, 2012
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
A molecule thought to limit cell proliferation also helps cancer cells survive during initial tumor formation and when the wayward cells spread to other organs in the body, researchers have found.

Nissim Hay, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics IPTC
Credit: Kathryn Marchetti, Copyright The University of Illinois Board of Trustees

A molecule thought to limit cell proliferation also helps cancer cells survive during initial tumor formation and when the wayward cells spread to other organs in the body, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found.

Related Articles


The study was published in the May 31 issue of Nature.

The new study seems to contradict earlier findings that activation of the enzyme, called AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, inhibits the growth of cells in culture.

Because of its role in inhibiting cancer cell growth and proliferation, AMPK has been viewed as a promising potential target for developing new chemotherapy drugs, says Nissim Hay, professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at UIC and principle investigator on the study.

But Hay and his colleagues found that when the cell is under metabolic stress, AMPK is activated to promote cell survival and prevent cell death.

"Paradoxically, activated AMPK is actually required for the survival of the cancer cell during metabolic stress, when glucose uptake is decreased," Hay said. Cancer cells are subjected to metabolic stress when they first leave the cell matrix to form a solid tumor, and again when they migrate out of the tumor to spread throughout the body.

The researchers found that AMPK promotes the survival of cancer cells by indirectly regulating NADPH, a molecule that reduces harmful reactive-oxygen species. They showed that AMPK exerts it effect by regulating enzymes that control fatty acid synthesis and fatty acid oxidation.

The new study may also help to explain a previous unexpected finding: that cells that are deficient in AMPK, or in another enzyme that is responsible for activating AMPK, called LKB1, are resistant to becoming cancerous. Patients with Peuta-Jeghers syndrome, an inherited deficiency of LKB1, develop only benign tumors incapable of spreading.

AMPK, through its role in limiting proliferation, may still offer a promising target for chemotherapy, Hay said, but it would be important to target the fatty acid synthesis enzymes at the same time in order to block AMPK's protective effect.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health; the Chicago Biomedical Consortium with support from The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; and the Diabetes Research and Training Center at the University of Chicago.

Sang-Min Jeon, former UIC graduate student, is first author on the study. He is now on staff at Genetech in San Francisco. Navdeep Chandel, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Northwestern University, also contributed to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sang-Min Jeon, Navdeep S. Chandel, Nissim Hay. AMPK regulates NADPH homeostasis to promote tumour cell survival during energy stress. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11066

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Key enzyme plays roles as both friend and foe to cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613183811.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2012, June 13). Key enzyme plays roles as both friend and foe to cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613183811.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Key enzyme plays roles as both friend and foe to cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613183811.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. Video provided by Newsy
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