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New target for cancer therapy

Date:
January 24, 2013
Source:
The Biochemical Society
Summary:
The plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 can inhibit the spread of tumours by decreasing the amount of the anti-apoptotic protein surviving in tumour cells.

The plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 can inhibit the spread of tumours by decreasing the amount of the anti-apoptotic protein surviving in tumour cells.

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Tumour cells need far more nutrients that normal cells and these nutrients cannot get into the malignant cells without transporters.

These are compounds that are responsible for the absorption of peptides, amino acids, sugars, vitamins and other nutrients. They exist in all cell types, particularly in those tissues responsible for the absorption of nutrients, such as the intestine and kidneys.

What if you could turn off a transporter that was important to tumour cells, but not to normal cells?

Dr Vadivel Ganapathy, of the Medical College of Georgia, suggests we can do that. He and his team report in a paper published in the Biochemical Journal on January 24 that the plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 can inhibit the spread of tumours by decreasing the amount of the anti-apoptotic protein surviving in tumour cells. This induces apoptosis (cell death) and renders the tumour cells more sensitive to anti-cancer drugs. All this without affecting the activity of SLC5A8 in normal cells.

Tests in breast cancer cells in mice have proved promising. "Our studies unravel a novel, hitherto unrecognized, mechanism for the tumour-suppressive role of a plasma membrane transporter independent of its transport function," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Biochemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Veena Coothankandaswamy, Selvakumar Elangovan, Nagendra Singh, PutturD. Prasad, Muthusamy Thangaraju, Vadivel Ganapathy. The plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 suppresses tumour progression through depletion of survivin without involving its transport function. Biochemical Journal, 2013; 450 (1): 169 DOI: 10.1042/BJ20121248

Cite This Page:

The Biochemical Society. "New target for cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124091536.htm>.
The Biochemical Society. (2013, January 24). New target for cancer therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124091536.htm
The Biochemical Society. "New target for cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124091536.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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