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Terça-feira, 02.02.16

MD Anderson Researchers Discover that Glucose Starvation May Be Vital to Tumor Suppression

MD Anderson Researchers Discover that Glucose Starvation May Be Vital to Tumor Suppression


Dr. Junjie Chen, Ph.D., chair of Experimental Radiation Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) and his team of collaborating investigators recently published an important study that could create new opportunities for the successful treatment of cancerous tumors.  The study entitled “AMPK modulates Hippo pathway activity to regulate energy homeostasis” was published in the latest online edition ofNature Cell Biology.

Background Terminology:

  • Cell-signaling pathway: a system of cellular communication that governs cellular actions such as the ability of cells to perceive and correctly respond to their microenvironment by coordinating cellular activities like tissue repair, immune response, as well as normal tissue functioning.
  • Glucose: the human body’s key source of energy utilized through the breakdown of carbohydrates.
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP): known as the cells “unit of currency” for the chemical energy in various nutrients, such as glucose, is transferred to ATP. In this form it can be transported to provide the energy needed to carry out metabolic functions.

Cell-signaling pathways are very important in cancer research because everything at the beginning of the pathway has an impact on all processes leading to the final signal.  This impact can undermine the body’s normal molecular reactions such as breaking down blood sugar for energy, or in the case of cancer, feeding a tumor.

About the Study

In this study, investigators uncovered new evidence as to the relationship between the Hippo pathway, a key cell-signaling pathway for tissue overgrowth, and the regulation of cellular metabolism of glucose to ATP.  The evidence suggests that the Hippo pathway can be manipulated to regulate glucose, which feeds all tumor cells, thereby presenting new opportunities for cancer therapy.


Dr. Chen and his team uncovered this evidence by:


  • Experimentally starving cells of glucose, which activated the AMPK enzyme that deactivated YAP, a protein that has been previously shown to promote cancer growth.
  • This deactivation was a product of YAP’s regulation of a gene called GLUT3, which is involved in glucose metabolism.
  • This experimental result revealed a new role for YAP as a link between the Hippo pathway and the nutrient metabolism that allows cancer to metastasize.

In a press release about the study’s findings, Dr. Chen stated, “We have identified cross-talk between glucose metabolism and the Hippo pathway. This is a previously unknown function of the Hippo pathway in glucose metabolism. It is highly significant because it established a connection between a pathway involved in organ size control and nutrient availability. The discovery of AMPK’s effect on YAP extends our understanding of YAP regulation outside of the Hippo pathway. Our study proposes yet another cancer-related function of YAP. This provides an exciting link between glucose metabolism and the Hippo pathway in tissue maintenance and cancer prevention.”

Dr. Chen’s laboratory works to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis. He and his team plan to use the evidence from this study to continue their investigations of the molecular mechanisms that promote metastasis.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

por cyto às 20:35

2 comentários

De CD4 Cell Isolation kit a 22.03.2016 às 07:07

More studies will be continued using their investigations of the molecular mechanisms that promote metastasis, that's a nice progress.

De wnt array a 22.03.2016 às 08:10

Now scientists are studying glucose transport in tumor cells in order to reduce glucose levels in tumor cells to achieve the goal of Tumor Suppression. Keep writing ! I want to know more information.

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