Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that hydrogen sulfide -- the pungent-smelling gas produced by rotten eggs -- is a key player in colon cancer metabolism, and a potential target for therapies for the disease.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have discovered that hydrogen sulfide -- the pungent-smelling gas produced by rotten eggs -- is a key player in colon cancer metabolism, and a potential target for therapies for the disease.

In a paper appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the UTMB scientists describe cell-culture and mouse experiments demonstrating that colon cancer cells produce large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, and depend on the compound for survival and growth.

"They love it and they need it," said UTMB professor Csaba Szabo, an author on the paper. "Colon cancer cells thrive on this stuff -- our data show that they use it to make energy, to divide, to grow and to invade the host."

The researchers connected the bulk of colon-cancer hydrogen sulfide production to a protein called CBS, which is produced at much higher levels in colon cancer cells than in non-cancerous tissue. Experiments revealed that colon cancer cell growth was curtailed when the activity of CBS was chemically blocked, while normal cell growth was unaffected.

"Our work identifies CBS as a new anti-cancer target," said UTMB professor and paper author Mark Hellmich. "By blocking CBS, we can fight colon cancer."

The anti-colon cancer effects of blocking CBS were also seen when the scientists studied "nude" mice onto which patient-derived colon cancer tumor cells had been implanted. Without hydrogen sulfide, the tumors grew much more slowly. They also showed a pronounced decrease in angiogenesis -- the process by which a tumor stimulates the growth of a host's blood vessels around itself to "hijack" oxygen and nutrients for its own use.

The discovery surprised Szabo and Hellmich, but in retrospect, Szabo said, it makes sense. "Billions of years ago, before there was oxygen on Earth, hydrogen sulfide biochemistry was one of the main mechanisms that supported life," Szabo said. "By producing hydrogen sulfide, cancer cells are recreating an ancient mechanism."

That mechanism, Hellmich said, offers the scientists a chance to translate a basic science discovery into new therapies for cancer patients. "This is a chance to do research that really matters," Hellmich said. "We're very excited to have that opportunity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Csaba Szabo, Ciro Coletta, Celia Chao, Katalin Mσdis, Bartosz Szczesny, Andreas Papapetropoulos, and Mark R. Hellmich. Tumor-derived hydrogen sulfide, produced by cystathionine-β-synthase, stimulates bioenergetics, cell proliferation, and angiogenesis in colon cancer. PNAS, July 8, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306241110

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708161939.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2013, July 8). What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708161939.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708161939.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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