Navigation Links
Energy management in cells may hold key to cancer defense

In an ongoing effort to fight disease by manipulating energy regulation of cells, a collaborative study led by Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) has demonstrated that cells lacking a tumor-suppressing kinase called LKB1 can still maintain healthy energy levels when they become stressed. This energy regulation is essential for keeping cells from dying off too quickly. The study's results could signal new advances for combating cancerous tumor growth, but also type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The study, published in the August 12 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), was headed by Dr. Lee Witters, Eugene W. Leonard 1921 Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at DMS and of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, who has researched kinases for over 25 years. Kinases encompass a large family of enzyme proteins that play key roles in the workings of most animal cells. He has focused much of his research on the AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) which responsible for managing energy within cellular pathways.

"A cell's energy level is critical to its survival," explains Witters, who likens a low-energy cell to a car with no gas in its tank. "In a previous study, we found that the cellular "gas gauge," AMPK, can turn around and alter any deficits in the cell if it is turned on by the kinase LKB1. In this JBC study, we wanted to see if AMPK could also be turned on by something besides LKB1."

"We decided to work with cervical and lung cancer cells because LKB1 is absent from the cellular pathway," said Rebecca Hurley, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at Dartmouth. Working closely with scientists at St. Vincent's Institute in Australia and Duke University, the DMS team concluded that two kinases in these cancer cells, CaMKKα and CaMKKβ, are able to regulate AMPK independent of LBK1.

"With the addition of these two kinases, we think we have all nearly the players re sponsible for energy regulation within the cell, which should offer new opportunities in cancer treatment," said Hurley. "If we can stifle a cancer cell's ability to adapt to an energy deficit, it might lose its growth advantage." "You need to know how all these proteins interact before you can make truly significant advances," echoes Witters "It's like poker; not only do you need to know what each card signifies individually, but you must have an understanding of how they play off each other in order to win."

In addition to cancer-fighting potential of AMPK regulation, the enzyme also responds to changes in insulin or glucose and mediates impaired energy metabolism, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. "This indicates that AMPK is a very tempting target for the treatment of some forms of diabetes and even obesity," said Witters.

As Witters' laboratory continues to zero in on the central role of kinases in the treatment of disease, he acknowledges that this research is becoming more complex and multiple approaches are needed to find solutions. Witters believes that significant breakthroughs in science can only be achieved through open collaboration, citing partnerships between faculty and students, and between other institutes outside the Dartmouth community.

Often referring to his laboratory as a classroom, Witters pointed out the integral roles played by Hurley and Dartmouth College undergraduate student Jeanne Franzone '05, a co-author of the study. "Students are the grand integrators of collaboration," he said, noting that Hurley traveled to other labs in the US to complete this study. Other co-authors of the study are Kristin Anderson and Anthony Means from Duke University and Bruce Kemp from The St. Vincent's Institute and CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition in Australia.


'"/>

Source:Dartmouth Medical School


Related biology news :

1. Special Imaging Study Shows Failing Hearts Are Energy Starved
2. Leptin-signaling Protein Maintains Normal Body Weight And Energy Balance In Mice
3. GeneNotes - A novel information management software for biologists
4. Study of energy and health in Africa focuses spotlight on charcoal and forest management
5. Water management in cells
6. Aquatic plants may hold key to advancing plant disease management
7. Saharas edge studied from ground, air and space to improve water management
8. Madagascan tropical forests return thanks to better management and well-defined ownership
9. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
10. Spleen may be source of versatile stem cells
11. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/27/2016)... WEST CHESTER, Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... services supplier based in West Chester, Ohio ... and their award winning service staff, based in ... Track,s technical capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations ... John Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... --> ... report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology (Bio-Sensors, NLP, ... Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application Areas, End ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion Detection and ... Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 31.9%, ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized breaches in ... find new ways to ensure data security and user ... and Android that ties a user,s ... it into a hardware authorization token. Customer service agents ... fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to verify their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 - New FDA action date of ... FDA action date of July 22, 2016   ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has ... indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye ... potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSO ... flagship CytoSorb® blood filter to treat deadly inflammation ... world, announced that CEO Dr. Phillip Chan ... Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, ... Conference Presentation Details: Where: Convene ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... BEIJING , Feb. 4, 2016 Sinovac ... ), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in ... committee of its board of directors received on February ... 3, 2016, from a consortium comprised of PKU V-Ming ... Sinobioway Biomedicine Co., Ltd., CICC Qianhai Development ( ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 2016  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: DSCO ... KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, today announced ... inducement award as a component of employment compensation ... President and Chief Executive Officer.  The award was ... 1, 2016 and granted as an inducement material ...
Breaking Biology Technology: