Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

New Chemotherapeutic Approach Will Selectively Starve Cancer Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 21 Jul 2013
Blocking the activity of the enzyme eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K), which is found in cancer cells but not in normal cells, prevents tumors from adapting to nutrient deprivation and may represent a new chemotherapeutic approach.

The eEF2K enzyme is an essential factor for protein synthesis. It promotes the GTP-dependent translocation of the growing protein chain from the A-site to the P-site of the ribosome. This protein is completely inactivated by EF2 kinase phosphorylation.

EEF2K, which is activated by AMP-kinase (AMPK), has been shown to confer cell survival under acute nutrient depletion by blocking translation elongation. It is expressed in a number of tissues, including the liver, brain, and skeletal muscle. The net effect of AMPK activation is stimulation of hepatic fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis, inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, lipogenesis, and triglyceride synthesis, inhibition of adipocyte lipolysis and lipogenesis, stimulation of skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation and muscle glucose uptake, and modulation of insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells.

Investigators at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) reported in the May 23, 2013, issue of the journal Cell that tumor cells exploit the AMPK-eEF2K pathway to adapt to nutrient deprivation. Adaptation of cancer cells to nutrient withdrawal was found to be severely compromised in cells lacking eEF2K. Moreover, eEF2K knockdown restored sensitivity to acute nutrient deprivation in highly resistant human tumor cell lines. In vivo, overexpression of eEF2K rendered murine tumors remarkably resistant to caloric restriction. Expression of eEF2K strongly correlated with overall survival in human medulloblastoma and glioblastoma multiforme.

Contributing author Dr. Christopher G. Proud, professor of biological sciences at the University of Southampton said, "Cancer cells grow and divide much more rapidly than normal cells, meaning they have a much higher demand for and are often starved of, nutrients and oxygen. We have discovered that a cellular component, eEF2K, plays a critical role in allowing cancer cells to survive nutrient starvation, whilst normal, healthy cells do not usually require eEF2K in order to survive. Therefore, by blocking the function of eEF2K, we should be able to kill cancer cells, without harming normal, healthy cells in the process."

"Protein synthesis – the creation of proteins within cells –is a fundamental process that enables cells to grow, divide, and function," said Dr. Proud. "If it goes wrong, it can contribute to the development of cancer. We are interested in how defects in this process can cause cancers and other diseases."

Related Links:

University of Southampton



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Ibuprofen May Restore Immune Function in Older Individuals

New research suggests that macrophages from the lungs of old mice respond differently to infections than those of young mice, and ibuprofen given to the mice reversed these changes. New research using lab mice suggests that the solution to more youthful immune function might already be a common over-the-counter pain reliever.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Hair follicle (blue) being attacked by T cells (green) (Photo courtesy of Christiano Lab/Columbia University Medical Center).

Hair Restoration Method Clones Patients’ Cells to Grow New Hair Follicles

Researchers have developed of a new hair restoration approach that uses a patient’s cells to grow new hair follicles. In addition, the [US] Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Leica Microsystems launches the inverted research microscope platform Leica DMi8 (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New Inverted Microscope Designed to Readily Adapt to Changing Research Demands

A new inverted microscope for biotech and other life science laboratories was designed to readily accommodate modifications and upgrades to allow it to keep current with changing research demands and interests.... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.