Navigation Links
Cholesterol activates signaling pathway that promotes cancer
Date:7/15/2014

Everyone knows that cholesterol, at least the bad kind, can cause heart disease and hardening of the arteries. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago describe a new role for cholesterol in the activation of a cellular signaling pathway that has been linked to cancer.

The finding is reported in Nature Communications.

Cells employ thousands of signaling pathways to conduct their functions. Canonical Wnt signaling is a pathway that promotes cell growth and division and is most active in embryonic cells during development. Overactivity of this signaling pathway in mature cells is thought to be a major driver in the development of cancer.

"Our research points to a new regulatory role for cholesterol, and also presents an exciting new therapeutic target for suppressing canonical Wnt signaling to treat or prevent cancer," said Wonhwa Cho, professor of chemistry at UIC and principal investigator of the research.

Cho and his colleagues were searching for novel cholesterol-binding proteins when they discovered a binding site for cholesterol on a protein called Dishevelled. Dishevelled is involved in canonical Wnt signaling and in non-canonical Wnt signaling, which plays a role in processes like cell movement and organization. Dishevelled is like a switch on the track -- when the signal reaches Dishevelled, the signal is directed along either the canonical or non-canonical Wnt pathway. But until now, any factor governing activation of one pathway over the other was unknown, Cho said.

"Once we realized that cholesterol is able to bind specifically to Dishevelled, we became interested in cholesterol as a potential determinant of which of the Wnt signaling pathways gets activated," he said.

The researchers found that when cholesterol is bound to Dishevelled, the signal continues along the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Without cholesterol, canonical Wnt signaling cannot occur.

They also noticed that localized increases in cholesterol within cell membrane seemed to selectively promote canonical Wnt signaling over non-canonical Wnt signaling -- a finding, Cho said, that might explain why elevated cholesterol increases cancer risk.

"We know that things like high-fat diets, which boost cholesterol levels, have been linked to an elevated incidence of cancer," he said. "Our research provides a mechanism for how cholesterol promotes pathways that lead to cancer."

It also presents a possible therapeutic target. A drug that interferes with the binding of cholesterol to Dishevelled, Cho said, may be effective against those cancers that are driven by canonical Wnt signaling -- a list that includes colon cancer, melanoma, breast cancer and lung cancer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Parmet
sparmet@uic.edu
312-413-2695
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Potential cholesterol lowering drug has breast cancer fighting capabilities
2. Fasting reduces cholesterol levels in prediabetic people over extended period of time
3. Summertime cholesterol consumption key for wintertime survival for Siberian hamsters
4. Common cholesterol drug greatly alters inflammatory response to common cold
5. Low cholesterol in immune cells tied to slow progression of HIV
6. Low cholesterol in immune cells slows HIV progression
7. Cholesterol transporter structure decoded
8. Cholesterol study suggests new diagnostic, treatment approach for prostate cancer
9. Strawberries lower cholesterol
10. Cleveland Clinic researchers discover process that turns good cholesterol bad
11. Wayne State cholesterol study shows algal extracts may counter effects of high fat diets
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cholesterol activates signaling pathway that promotes cancer
(Date:2/14/2017)... WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake ... FRY-shlog), M.D., as its new chief executive officer (CEO). ... succeeds CEO John D. McConnell , M.D., who ... new position at the Medical Center, after leading it ... oversee the full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 8, 2017 About Voice ... voice to match it against a stored voiceprint ... as pitch, cadence, and tone are compared to ... minimal hardware installation, as most PCs already have ... different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are most likely ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that the latest release of ... and award winning eClinical solution, is now available for ... a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology platform that ... delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools to support ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... of Tom Perkins as European director. Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, Pennside Partners, ... , Perkins joins Pennside after more than a decade with leading market research ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., ... UTHR ) today announced its financial results ... 2016. "Our annual 2016 financial results ... billion and earnings exceeded $700 million," said Martine ... Officer. "These financial results strengthen our ability to ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: SQIDF), today reported ... December 31, 2016. SQI is a ... develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for advanced multiplexed ... ... in fiscal 2016," said Andrew Morris , SQI,s President ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Vortex ... , a fully automated benchtop system for collecting intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) ... at the Molecular Medicine Tri Conference (Tri-Con) Annual Meeting 2017 (February 19–24 San ...
Breaking Biology Technology: