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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. 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