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

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



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Biopsy of small bowel showing celiac disease manifested by blunting of villi, crypt hyperplasia, and lymphocyte infiltration of crypts (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Reduced Elafin Levels Associated with Celiac Disease Bowel Inflammation

Levels of the enzyme elafin, an endogenous serine protease inhibitor, were lower in the small intestinal epithelium of patients with active celiac disease (CD) as compared to similar tissue from control patients.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Retinoic Acid Prevents Precancerous Breast Cells from Progressing to Full-Blown Cancer

Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, was found to prevent pre-cancerous breast cells from progressing to full-blown cancer but did not have any effect on breast tumor cells. Investigators at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, USA) worked with a novel breast cancer model that had been developed by treating... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.