Navigation Links
Cellular fuel gauge may hold the key to restricting cancer growth
Date:12/27/2012

Researchers at McGill University have discovered that a key regulator of energy metabolism in cancer cells known as the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) may play a crucial role in restricting cancer cell growth. AMPK acts as a "fuel gauge" in cells; AMPK is turned on when it senses changes in energy levels, and helps to change metabolism when energy levels are low, such as during exercise or when fasting. The researchers found that AMPK also regulates cancer cell metabolism and can restrict cancer cell growth.

The discovery was made by Russell (Rusty) Jones, an assistant professor at McGill's Goodman Cancer Research Centre and the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine. Jones along with his team is the first to show that AMPK can act as a tumour suppressor in animals. The research will be published December 27 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"Cancer is a disease in which cells lose their normal restraints on growth and start to divide uncontrollably. But, in order for cells to grow quickly they need enough energy to complete the task," Jones explained. "AMPK acts like the fuel gauge in your car it lets the body know when energy levels are low, and stops cell growth until there is enough gas in the tank. We wanted to see if this fuel gauge could affect the development and progression of cancer. We found that mice lacking AMPK developed tumours faster, suggesting that AMPK is important for keeping tumour development in check, at least for some types of cancer." For this study, Jones' team focused specifically on a type of blood cancer known as lymphoma. They discovered that the protein Myc, which is activated in more than half of all cancers, could promote lymphoma more rapidly when mice were deficient for AMPK.

One of the ways cancer cells support their enhanced rate of growth is by changing their metabolism, or how they generate energy. Cancer cells are different from normal cells in our body because they preferentially use sugar to fuel their growth. Jones discovered that AMPK plays a specific role in restricting cancer cells' ability to use sugar to fuel their growth. "For cancer cells with low AMPK levels, their metabolism goes into overdrive," explained Prof. Jones. "They use sugar more efficiently, allowing them to grow faster. These results suggest that turning on AMPK in cancer cells may be one way that we can restrict cancer growth."

Jones' breakthrough builds on his previous discovery that the widely prescribed medication metformin, a common diabetes drug, can restrict tumour cell growth. The results bring promise that common therapeutics that turn on AMPK and alter cellular metabolism, such as metformin, may become novel tools for cancer therapy. Jones and his colleagues at McGill are currently exploring clinical applications based on this research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Russell Jones
russell.jones@mcgill.ca
514-398-3336
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study sheds light on how cells transport materials along crowded intercellular highways
2. Long-distance solute transport in trees improved by intercellular pathways in living woody tissues
3. Microchoreography: Researchers use synthetic molecule to guide cellular dance
4. New technique enables high-sensitivity view of cellular functions
5. Cellular landscaping: Predicting how, and how fast, cells will change
6. BioLife Solutions Products Now Used in More than 50 Clinical Trial-Stage Cellular Therapies
7. Newly demonstrated capabilities of low-powered nanotweezers may benefit cellular-level studies
8. Division of labor offers insight into the evolution of multicellular life
9. Researchers study knee stress at tissue, cellular levels
10. Stealthy microscopy method visualizes E. coli sub-cellular structure in 3-D
11. BUSM study shows role of cellular protein in regulation of binge eating
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 ... Continue Reading ... ...      ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... identification and object recognition technologies, today announced the ... development kit (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition ... safety cameras on a single computer. The new ... algorithms to improve accuracy, and it utilizes a ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant ... company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment ... as director of public safety business development. ... law enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation ... his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... ... Mitotech S.A, a Luxembourg based clinical stage biotechnology company, announced positive results of ... devastating genetic disease that leads to a sudden and rapid loss of central vision. ... 11778, 14484 and 3460 mutations and having experienced the onset of symptoms more than ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... Yorba Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 27, ... ... will hear from a practicing internist, who will review how testing for 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin ... signs that prompt ordering of 25-OH-vitamin D and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. , Dr. ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Volunteers supported by ... engineers, and industry professionals in visiting U.S. Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., yesterday ... world photonics industry. , This year, National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Congressional ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Kinexum, a distinguished resource for research, ... the appointment of Thomas C. Seoh as ... M.D., Kinexum founder, who becomes Executive Chairman and will ... clients. Thomas Seoh commented, "I ... mission and lead the firm,s remarkable team of life ...
Breaking Biology Technology: