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

Curbing Sugar Intake May Slash Risk of Cancer or Progression in the Diabetic and Obese

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Aug 2013
By blocking dietary sugar and its activity in tumor cells, investigators believe that people may be able to reduce their cancer risk and progression.

The study, conducted in fruit flies by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, NY, USA) and published August 1, 2013, in the journal Cell, provides insight as to why metabolism-related diseases such as diabetes or obesity are associated with certain types of cancer, including breast, pancreatic, liver, and colon cancers.

Ross Cagan, PhD, professor of developmental and regenerative biology at Mount Sinai, has developed a cancer model in the fruit fly Drosophila that allows scientists to evaluate diseases in the perspective of the whole animal and numerous genetic targets, instead of just looking at the link of one gene to one disease. Dr. Cagan used fruit flies in his research to determine the effects of diet and insulin resistance on cancer progression.

“Previous research has established a strong correlation between metabolic diseases and pancreatic, breast, liver, and colon cancers, but we have not determined how tumors grow so aggressively in this environment if they do not have the energy provided by glucose,” said Dr. Cagan, who is also associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai. “Using our fruit fly model, we discovered how tumors overcome insulin resistance in the body and turn metabolic dysfunction to their advantage.”

Dr. Cagan and his team modified fruit flies to express Ras and Src, two key oncogenes, which resulted in the development of small head tumors. Next, they fed the flies with a high-sugar diet that triggered insulin resistance. They discovered that high dietary sugar acts together with Ras and Src to increase insulin sensitivity specifically in tumor cells. By increasing the signaling of an important pathway called Wingless/Wnt, they increased tumor cells’ insulin receptors to further promote insulin sensitivity. This cascade of activity altered these small, weak tumors and caused them to begin growing aggressively.

Armed with three new drug targets—glucose, the Ras/Src oncogenes, and Wingless/Wnt signaling—Dr. Cagan and his coworkers identified compounds that can block the process. They treated the flies with acarbose, a drug for diabetes treatment; a compound called AD81; and an agent called pyrvinium. Acarbose blocked sugar conversion to glucose; AD81 blocked Ras/Src and caused cell death; and pyrvinium suppressed Wingless/Wnt signaling. Combined, this blend of drugs considerably reduced tumor size and progression.

“Our study shows that sugar activates oncogenes in the tumor, which then promote insulin sensitivity, meaning that the exorbitant glucose levels in the blood pour into the tumor, having nowhere else to go in the insulin-resistant body,” said Dr. Cagan. “We have identified a three-drug combination that stops this signaling activity and tumor growth in its tracks, without affecting normal cell function.”

In the next phase, the researcher plans to find out whether the same cascade of occurrences is happening in humans with insulin resistance using tumor samples. Based on those findings, Dr. Cagan and his team will evaluate substances that can manipulate this oncogene/sugar cascade.

Related Links:

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: This micrograph depicts the presence of aerobic Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria; magnification 1150x (Photo courtesy of the CDC - US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Infection by Meningitis Bacteria Depends on Dimerization State of Certain Host Cell Proteins

A team of molecular microbiologists has untangled the complex three-way interaction between the non-integrin laminin receptor (LAMR1), galectin-3 (Gal-2), and the pathogenic bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel

Molecule in Green Tea Used as Carrier for Anticancer Proteins

A molecule that is a key ingredient in green tea can be employed as a carrier for anticancer proteins, forming a stable and effective therapeutic nanocomplex. This new discovery could help to construct better drug-delivery systems. Some cancer treatments depend on medication comprising the therapeutic drug and a carrier... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Yale West Campus is organized into research institutes and core facilities — all designed to promote collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue (Photo courtesy of Yale University).

American and European Partners Establish a Microscopy Center of Excellence

A prominent American university has announced a partnership agreement with a major European producer of microscopes and imaging tools that will establish a center for the use of cutting-edge imaging technologies... 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.