Navigation Links
Retinol for combating leukemia cells

Some ten years ago the Department of Cell Biology and Histology at the University of the Basque Country initiated research into how cell death was boosted by means of retinoids. It was thought that this potential could be used in the fight against cancer cells.

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is present in milk, liver, egg yolk, butter and other foodstuffs and as carotene in vegetables that have a yellow-orange colour, such as carrots and pumpkins.

This vitamin is accumulated in the liver where it is transformed into retinoid. Given that vitamin A, as such, has no effect on our organism, it is the retinoids that are responsible for the physiological activity of the vitamin.

Retinoids take part in three processes: in cell death, in cell differentiation and in cell proliferation.

Clean and programmed death

Two types of death occur in cells: necrosis and apoptosis. Necrosis defines a pathological death, i.e. a death caused by a lack or deficit within the cell such as lack of oxygen or food.

On the other hand, apoptosis is the pre-programmed death of a cell. A number of cells have to die in order that our organism function correctly: for example, when the feet of a foetus are developed in the womb of a mother, at first the fingers are united by a membrane. This membrane has to disappear and, so, the cells thereof have to die off so that the hands may develop correctly. This cellular death is programmed in the embryo genes and has a concrete function. This is apoptosis.

All cells, in fact, have the necessary information to be able to undergo apoptosis but, of course, not all cells have to die. Both internal and external stimuli are what initiate this mechanism in those cases where it is necessary. Various modulating substances are involved amongst which are the retinoids.

Boosting apoptosis

Amongst these retinoids, researchers from the University of the Basque Country chose retinam ide for their investigations. Retinamide is a synthetic retinoid, i.e. our body does not produce this substance naturally.

Natural retinoids are used to treat various diseases (e.g. those of the skin) but they turn out to be quite poisonous in the doses required ?they are not well tolerated. This is why synthetic retinoids are created.

Specifically, the University research team analysed the effect of retinamide in certain types of leukemia - lymphoblastic leukemias. Nowadays, samples from the Hospital de Cruces in Bilbao are used in order to get these types of leukemia cells.

Lymphoblastic leukemias are, as their name indicates, a type of leukemia that affects lymphoblasts. Lymphoblasts are large cells, precursors of lymphocytes. Malign lymphoblasts are constantly dividing and they accumulate in the bone marrow impeding the formation of blood cells. In the analyses undertaken in the laboratory, it was seen that 95 % of these malign lymphoblasts died after application of retinamide. But what is the mechanism that really triggers this death?

To explain the process, the researchers analysed the action mechanism of the retinamide at a molecular level. From the analyses it was observed that the retinamide accelerated the oxidative stress within the malign cells and that this stress triggered the mechanisms leading to apoptosis. This death is normally clean and programmed death, and, to this end, a group of enzymes cut the protein inside the cell at certain sites, leading to the death of the cell in question. The death has no effect on healthy adjacent cells, does not result in swelling and the side effects are minimal.

Thus, according to what has been shown, retinamide has great potential to eliminate the lymphoblastic cells without affecting healthy lymphocytes nor the rest of the normal cells.

Made-to-measure treatment

With the molecular action mechanism understood, researchers investigated why retinamide did not affect healthy cells and they discovered other factors to explain the phenomena. So, apart from molecular mechanisms, other factors that affect the efficacy of retinamide could be clearly seen. These and others should be taken into account if a pharmaceutical to combat leukemias based on retinamide is to be marketed.

Moreover, according to the researchers, future treatment will be patient-specific. As is well known, not all patients suffering from the same illness respond in the same way to the same treatment. This is why lines of medical and pharmaceutical research increasingly mention the need to know the genetic characteristics of each patient in order to specify suitable treatment. In the case of retinamide, treatment will also be similarly specific but, before this, the trigger mechanism of the retinamide in the cells has to be known and this research will provide key data to this end.


Source:Elhuyar Fundazioa

Related biology news :

1. Researcher at UGA College of Veterinary Medicine identifies new way of combating viral diseases
2. Asleep in the deep: Model helps assess ocean-injection strategy for combating greenhouse effect
3. Recent breakthroughs in common adult leukemia highlighted in New England Journal of Medicine
4. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
5. Enzyme allows B cells to resist death, leading to leukemia
6. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
7. Multiple-drug resistant gene expression pattern predicts treatment outcome for pediatric leukemia
8. Genes linked to treatment resistance in children with leukemia
9. Mouse mimics chronic leukemia, will aid drug development
10. Pair of microRNA molecules controls major oncogene in most common leukemia
11. Tribbles protein implicated in common and aggressive form of leukemia
Post Your Comments:

(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  The global glucose monitoring ... for 2015. So says a new report on the industry ... management segment dominate the market, followed by continuous glucose monitoring ... reports on the market for these products in its latest ... ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 2015  The monitoring of vital signs, such ... is an essential component of patient assessment. Changes ... in a patient,s condition. However, in general care ... taken during routine observation rounds only once every ... between these observation rounds, the warning signs can ...
(Date:9/26/2015)... 2015  Results of a TactioRPM pilot project ... at the Stanford Medicine X Conference. In a ... Connected Health Devices and Pharmacogenomics", Roger Simard ... explain how senior patients equipped with connected health ... via the TactioRPM remote patient monitoring platform were ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
... in traffic may cause a headache, but a delay ... of Missouri researchers have uncovered clues identifying which proteins ... and found that the proteins previously thought to play ... the nervous system develops will give researchers a better ...
... A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators has ... a new class of drugs for treating cancer., The ... phospholipase D (PLD), an enzyme that has been implicated ... colorectal., The new inhibitors, reported in the February issue ...
... gardening can offer enough moderate physical activity to keep older ... February in the journal HortScience , the researchers discovered ... older hands strong and nimble. "One of the things ... better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big ...
Cached Biology News:
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease ... results in dysfunction of the lungs and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In CF ... very difficult to clear, blocks the airways and the glands, and creates an ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... ... , ... Neil Riordan, PhD to Discuss Medicinal Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells ... 3:50 pm to 4:30 pm. , Dr. Riordan is one of the early pioneers ... the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the Riordan-McKenna Institute of Regenerative ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... Oct. 7, 2015  ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral ... offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock and ... Company,s common stock at a fixed combined price to ... and warrants will be issued separately.  The warrants will ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... Oct. 7, 2015   VWR (NASDAQ: ... laboratory products, services and solutions, announced today that ... specialty solvent company that performs high volume purification ... enhance VWR,s growing laboratory and production chemical manufacturing ... manufacturing customers. Manuel Brocke-Benz , President ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
... drive to make healthcare information technology interoperable across ... and a medical information technology company headquartered here ... is lending its expertise to developing an ... the healthcare industry. Specifically, the expertise of Damien ...
... Sonic Foundry, Inc. has announced that it ... the fourth quarter of 2006, its first cash-positive quarter ... been building toward profitability since moving into the rich-media ... which the company showcased new search technology. , ,The ...
... . - Following weeks of blistering criticism of its electronic ... Foundation Health Plan , Madison's Epic Systems Corp . ... defending its product. , ,Epic Systems, a medical software developer, ... its electronic records system, which Kaiser has re-branded with the ...
Cached Biology Technology:
Mouse monoclonal [3G8] to MDMA ( Abpromise for all tested applications)....
Ly-49C and Ly-49I Biotin Anti-Mouse clone 5E6, Isotype Mouse IgG 2a , kappa, 0.1 mg Consult technical datasheet for details....
Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) mouse anti-human IFN-alpha2 25 tests...
Dog polyclonal to Porcine Pancreatic Islets of Langerhans Cells ( Abpromise for all tested applications). Antigen: Tissue / cell preparation (Pig): Sonicated crude membrane fraction of porcine p...
Biology Products: