Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers discover new regulator of drug detoxication

Date:
October 11, 2013
Source:
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Summary:
Drug abuse and alcohol are two of the most frequent causes of liver damage. Such kind of liver damage can cause irreversible liver failure and cancer. Researchers have discovered an important new protective role of the Fra-1 protein, which neutralizes the damage caused by agents, such as the analgesic drug acetaminophen. This is the first study to reveal a function of Fra-1 in protecting this important organ.

Drug abuse and alcohol are some of the most frequent causes of liver damage, particularly in developed countries. Such kind of liver damage can cause irreversible liver failure and even cancer. Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered an important new protective role of the Fra-1 protein, which neutralizes the damage caused by agents, such as the analgesic drug acetaminophen (Paracetamol). This is the first study to reveal a function of Fra-1 in protecting this important organ. The study is published in the journal Hepatology.

The journal includes a comment by David A. Brenner, from the University of California, who is a leader in the field of gastroenterological research, specializing in diseases of the liver. In the comment, Brenner highlights the importance of this study, saying that it "should provide new insights into the complex role of AP-1 [a family of proteins which Fra1 is part of] in liver disease and the potential role of inhibitors of the signalling pathway in the treatment of specific liver diseases."

A New 'Super-Detoxifying' Mouse

Key to the study has been a new 'super-detoxifying' mouse model generated by the team around Erwin Wagner, Director of the BBVA Foundation-CNIO Cancer Cell Biology Programme and holder of an ERC Advanced Grant.

"Our mouse was designed to produce extra Fra-1 protein only in the liver, which allowed us to study its specific function in this organ and thus eliminate side effects that an excess of protein might have in other tissues," explains Sebastian Hasenfuss, first author of the study.

According to the article, increased production of Fra-1 in the liver of these mice protects the organ from damage caused by drugs, such as Paracetamol. Moreover, Erwin Wagner's team also found that the removal of Fra-1 in mice causes a significant increase in liver damage.

How Fra-1 protects the liver is another question that Wagner's team answers in the article. On one hand, Fra-1 stimulates genes related to the glutathione defence system against free radicals and thus avoids cellular damage. On the other hand, Fra-1 stimulates genes that cause the removal of toxins from the body.

These results bring to light a new molecular component that could be key in future studies searching for new drugs for diseases related to the accumulation of toxic compounds, such as acute liver disease, alcoholism or cancer.

The team also highlights the importance that Fra-1's detoxifying role might have in the generation of chemotherapy resistance: "Tumour cells use very similar mechanisms as Fra-1 to eliminate chemotherapeutic agents," says Wagner, concluding that: "This makes us think that tumours might use Fra-1 to generate chemotherapy resistance and thus be able to keep growing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian C. Hasenfuss, Latifa Bakiri, Martin K. Thomsen, Rainer Hamacher, Erwin F. Wagner. Activator protein 1 transcription factor fos-related antigen 1 (fra-1) is dispensable for murine liver fibrosis, but modulates xenobiotic metabolism. Hepatology, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/hep.26518

Cite This Page:

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Researchers discover new regulator of drug detoxication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011101223.htm>.
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). (2013, October 11). Researchers discover new regulator of drug detoxication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011101223.htm
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Researchers discover new regulator of drug detoxication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011101223.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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:
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