Navigation Links
Copper intake makes tumors breathe
Date:11/14/2013

Copper imbalances have been associated with a number of pathological conditions, including cancer. Publishing in PNAS scientists at EPFL have found that copper in drinking water given at the maximum levels permitted in public water supplies accelerated the growth of tumors in mice. On the other hand, reducing copper levels reduced tumor growth. The study strongly suggests that copper is an essential factor for the growth of tumors in humans as well.

Copper is a key player in cell growth. In order to proliferate, cells require energy, which they produce and store in the form of a molecule called ATP. Like all cells, tumor cells produce energy in two different ways: respiration, which requires oxygen, and glycolysis, which does not. Of the two, respiration is the more efficient way to make ATP. However it involves a number of enzymes, and one of the most important ones requires copper for its activity.

In a study led by Douglas Hanahan, researcher at EPFL and holder of the Merck Serono Chair in Oncology, scientists sought to examine the role of copper in cancer. To do this, they used genetically engineered mice with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. "This study was motivated by our previous puzzling observation; namely that cancers, unlike healthy tissues, are especially sensitive to changes in systemic copper levels", said Seiko Ishida, the lead author of the paper.

Their research provides direct evidence that copper can enhance the proliferation of cancer cells. "The biggest surprise was that a small amount of copper added to drinking water accelerated the growth of tumors, indicating that copper is an essential nutrient for them, said Ishida.

Teaming up with Johan Auwerx, also at EPFL, the researchers found that copper insufficiency resulted in a lower activity of the respiration enzyme in tumors. PET scans also revealed that copper-deficient tumors took higher levels of glucose, suggesting that their cells were compensating more and more by using glycolysis rather than respiration for their energy. But despite this, ATP levels did not fully recover, and tumors did not grow further.

Importantly, the researchers do not think that copper causes cancer. Exposure of healthy mice to the same amount of copper via drinking water for up to two years did not result in an increased incidence of cancer. The authors suggest that copper levels could be monitored in cancer patients. They propose that minimizing copper in the patient's system may be beneficial in cancer therapy, especially when combined with drugs that block glycolysis. This two-step strategy would starve cancer cells which tend to require much higher amounts of energy than normal cells by limiting their two major pathways for ATP production.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lionel Pousaz
lionel.pousaz@epfl.ch
41-795-597-161
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Copper chains: Study reveals Earths deep-seated hold on copper
2. Hybrid copper-gold nanoparticles convert CO2
3. Copper making salmon prone to predators
4. Coppers previously unknown exit strategy
5. Scripps Research Institute scientists show copper facilitates prion disease
6. New study shows how copper restricts the spread of global antibiotic-resistant infections
7. After millennia of mining, copper nowhere near peak
8. Elevated levels of copper in amyloid plaques associated with neurodegeneration in mouse models of AD
9. Futuristic copper foam batteries get more bang for the buck
10. Modest alcohol intake associated with less inflammation in patients with common liver disease
11. Red potato chips: Segmentation cues can substantially decrease food intake
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface ... 31, 2015. --> --> ... percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. ... million, or $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 22, 2016 ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced ... Biometric Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced the ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce the ... achievements are the result of the company,s laser focus ... eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and ... progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development programs ... 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at ... Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents ... immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter ... surgery patients around the world, announced that CEO ... present at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive ... update on the company.  Conference ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property ... intellectual property, today provided an update on the Company,s ... of Texas and announcing that ... Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden ... initiated on only certain claims of two of the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... ... Many of the engineers at FireflySci, Inc. have been manufacturing quartz and ... other cuvette manufacturers is their supercharged customer service and their extensive database of glass ... flow of inside information, they have recently revamped their manufacturing techniques to reduce lead ...
Breaking Biology Technology: