Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key mechanism in metabolic pathway that fuels cancers identified

Date:
May 22, 2014
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A significant step in cracking the code of an atypical metabolic pathway that allows certain cancerous tumors to thrive has been cracked, providing a possible roadmap for defeating such cancers. "With this finding, we have learned there are particular enzymes that work together to enable the reverse pathway to function, much like the tiny gears that turn in opposite directions to power a mechanical clock," commented the lead author.

Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D.
Credit: UT Southwestern

In a breakthrough discovery at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), a research team led by Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D., has taken a significant step in cracking the code of an atypical metabolic pathway that allows certain cancerous tumors to thrive, providing a possible roadmap for defeating such cancers.

Published in Cell Reports, andfollowing up on Dr. DeBerardinis' landmark finding in 2011, this most recent discovery identifies the triggering mechanism that plays a key role in causing a series of energy-generating chemical reactions known as the Krebs cycle to run in reverse.

"With this finding, we have learned there are particular enzymes that work together to enable the reverse pathway to function, much like the tiny gears that turn in opposite directions to power a mechanical clock," said Dr. DeBerardinis, director of CRI's Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The identification of the mechanism could provide a future target for drugs that would attack tumors relying upon the reverse pathway for sustenance and growth. Tumors of this type, often found in the brain, lungs and kidneys, tend to be difficult for oncologists to treat because cells using the atypical pathway seem to resist existing treatments like chemotherapy.

"Prior to this discovery, we didn't have enough information about how to tap into the reverse metabolic pathway without disrupting the pathways that were operating in the typical, forward manner," said Dr. DeBerardinis, senior author of the study. "We now believe there is a specific enzyme critical to the reverse pathway that can be deleted without impairing normal function. If we can eliminate that enzyme, we may be able to starve tumors of their supply of building blocks for growth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. AndrewR. Mullen, Zeping Hu, Xiaolei Shi, Lei Jiang, LindseyK. Boroughs, Zoltan Kovacs, Richard Boriack, Dinesh Rakheja, LucasB. Sullivan, W.Marston Linehan, NavdeepS. Chandel, RalphJ. DeBerardinis. Oxidation of Alpha-Ketoglutarate Is Required for Reductive Carboxylation in Cancer Cells with Mitochondrial Defects. Cell Reports, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.04.037

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Key mechanism in metabolic pathway that fuels cancers identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522141319.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2014, May 22). Key mechanism in metabolic pathway that fuels cancers identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522141319.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Key mechanism in metabolic pathway that fuels cancers identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522141319.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. 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