Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
PZ HTL SA

Lithocholic Acid Kills Cancer, Spares Healthy Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 19 Jan 2012
Lithocholic acid (LCA), naturally generated in the liver during digestion, has been seriously underestimated because new research has revealed that LCA can kill several kinds of cancer cells, such as those found in breast cancer and various brain tumors.

The researchers, led by Concordia University (Austin, TX, USA), included scientists from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and the Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute (Montreal, Canada), as well as the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada). The study’s findings were published October 2011 in the journal Oncotarget.

Earlier research from the same investigators demonstrated LCA also extends the lifespan of aging yeast. This time, the team found LCA to be very selective in killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unscathed. This could translate into a great improvement over the indiscriminant all-cell damaging drugs used in chemotherapy.

“LCA doesn’t just kill individual cancer cells. It could also prevent the entire tumor from growing,” stated senior author Vladimir Titorenko, a professor in the department of biology and Concordia University research chair in genomics, cell biology, and aging.

Moreover, LCA prevents tumors from releasing substances that cause neighboring cancer cells to grow and proliferate. Prof. Titorenko noted that LCA is the only compound that targets cancer cells, which could translate into tumor-halting power. “This is important for preventing cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body,” he said, noting that unlike other antiaging compounds, LCA blocks cancer cell growth yet lets normal cells continue to grow.

The next phase for the research team will be to test LCA’s effect on different cancers in mice models. Prof. Titorenko expects that LCA will also kill cancer cells in the research and lead to human clinical trials. “Our study found that LCA kills not only tumors [neuroblastomas], but also human breast cancer cells,” said Prof. Titorenko. “This shows that it has a wide effect on different types of cancers.”

Prof. Titorenko emphasized that dissimilar to agent utilized in chemotherapy, LCA is a natural compound that is already present in humans. Studies have shown that LCA can be safely given to mice by adding it to their food. Therefore, scientists are looking into why LCA is so lethal for cancer cells. Prof. Titorenko conjectures that cancer cells have more sensors for LCA, which makes them more sensitive to the compound than normal cells.

LCA sensors transmit signals to mitochondria. It seems that when these signals are too strong, mitochondria self-destruct and take the cell along with them. Simply stated, Prof. Titorenko and his colleagues engaged in cancer cell disruption by targeting a weakness to LCA.

Related Links:
Concordia University
McGill University
Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel

New Program Encourages Wide Distribution of Genomic Data

A new data sharing program allows genomics researchers and practitioners to analyze, visualize, and share raw sequence data for individual patients or across populations straight from a local browser. The sequencing revolution is providing the raw data required to identify the genetic variants underlying rare diseases... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: The nano-cocoon drug delivery system is biocompatible, specifically targets cancer cells, can carry a large drug load, and releases the drugs very quickly once inside the cancer cell. Ligands on the surface of the \"cocoon\" trick cancer cells into consuming it. Enzymes (the “worms\" in this image) inside the cocoon are unleashed once inside the cell, destroying the cocoon and releasing anticancer drugs into the cell (Photo courtesy of Dr. Zhen Gu, North Carolina State University).

Novel Anticancer Drug Delivery System Utilizes DNA-Based Nanocapsules

A novel DNA-based drug delivery system minimizes damage to normal tissues by utilizing the acidic microenvironment inside cancer cells to trigger the directed release of the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX).... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Experimental Physicists Find Clues into How Radiotherapy Kills Cancer Cells

A new discovery in experimental physics has implications for a better determination of the process in which radiotherapy destroys cancer cells. Dr. Jason Greenwood from Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland) Center for Plasma Physics collaborated with scientists from Italy and Spain on the work on electrons, and published... Read more

Business

view channel

Interest in Commercial Applications for Proteomics Continues to Grow

Increasing interest in the field of proteomics has led to a series of agreements between private proteomic companies and academic institutions as well as deals between pharmaceutical companies and novel proteomics innovator biotech companies. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.