Navigation Links
Chemical tags likely to affect metabolism, cancer development
Date:2/18/2010

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. It is not unusual to hear people blame their metabolism after gaining a few pounds. But changes in metabolism the process that shapes how our bodies turn food into energy -- can have much more sinister effects than making it hard to fit into your favorite jeans.

In fact, differences in metabolic rates are known to exist between normal cells and tumor cells, though the mechanism behind it is unclear. Now new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that the addition or removal of a certain type of chemical tag called an acetyl group onto metabolic enzymes plays a key role in how cellular metabolism is regulated.

The finding, which will appear in the February 19 issue of the journal Science, gives researchers vital clues to understand how normal cells respond to nutrient changes and how the process by which normal cells turn cancerous, and could one day lead to new drugs that starve cancer cells into submission.

"We have discovered an entirely new layer of control of metabolism," said Yue Xiong, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This process -- the acetylation of metabolic enzymes -- appears to be highly conserved during evolution and very dynamic, which makes it an ideal target for future drug development. Now if we can identify which enzyme or enzymes are responsible for the difference in metabolism between normal and tumor cells, then we could have new targets for the treating cancer patients."

Xiong is a senior author of the study along with Kun-Liang Guan, professor of pharmacology, at the University of California, San Diego.

Almost all previous studies on acetylation have focused on the proteins in the nucleus, where acetyl tags regulate how tightly the DNA's genetic code is packaged. But Xiong and Guan started this study with the hypothesis that acetylation must also play a role in the other half of the cell, the cytoplasm.

So they separated the nucleus and the cytoplasm of primary liver cells, and then took a chemical census of the cytoplasm's contents using a technology called mass spectroscopy. They identified approximately a thousand new proteins that are acetylated, greatly expanding the previously recognized repertoire of fifty.

At first, the researchers were overwhelmed by such a large number of proteins to study, said Xiong. But then they began notice a pattern -- almost every metabolic enzyme was acetylated, presumably because their starting material was liver, an organ rich in metabolic activity.

"We think that acetylation is likely to play a very extensive role in regulation of many different cellular processes, not just metabolism," said Xiong.

Xiong and his colleagues looked at the acetylation of one enzyme from each of the four major metabolic pathways. They found that by altering the metabolic fuels that feed into these pathways they could alter the level of acetylation.

In addition, the researchers discovered that blocking acetylation chemically or genetically affected these metabolic enzymes in a number of different ways, either by stimulating its activity, inhibiting it, or degrading the protein itself. They suspect that acetylation is important for coordinating not only the players within a metabolic pathway but also between different pathways.

The next step is to take their finding in normal cells and see how it can inform their study of tumor cells. The researchers are in the process of looking at each metabolic enzyme, one-by-one, to see which one displays the most disparate acetylation patterns between normal and cancer cells. They will then try to use the very same proteins that tack on or pull off those acetyl groups called acetylases or deacetylases, respectively -- to modify acetylation and thwart cancer development.


'/>"/>

Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Chemical culprit in popcorn workers lung identified
2. American Chemical Societys Weekly Presspac -- Sept. 5, 2007
3. Rohm and Haas to Webcast Presentation at Credit Suisse Chemicals Conference
4. Chemical Diversity Initiates International Prostrate Cancer Discovery Partnership
5. Low Doses of Red Wine Chemical May Fight Diabetes
6. National Academies advisory: genes and toxic chemicals
7. Genomic technologies to identify toxic chemicals should be developed
8. Malaria No More and Sumitomo Chemical Help Protect 1.4 Million Kids from Malaria
9. American Chemical Societys Weekly Presspac -- Oct. 17, 2007
10. Researchers study potential health benefits of natural chemicals in muscadine grape seeds
11. Brains Reward Chemical May Help Spur Obesity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Chemical tags likely to affect metabolism, cancer development
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Dental365 in Levittown opened just a few ... dentistry. Dental365 was established with the patient’s comfort and convenience in mind. ... high-quality, affordable dentistry while offering routine and walk-in emergency dental care 365 days a ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... “Less than 15% of organizations nationwide can ... “As one of ten non-profit organizations to participate and complete the training, we are ... benefit is that for every $1 we invest in volunteer engagement, we can expect ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... The manufacturer of the SOCKIT ... trainers to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to benefit families dealing with cancer ... designed to teach children how to kick a soccer ball correctly. The device ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... NCPDP ... conference opened on Tuesday with Frank Luntz, sharing a dynamic, bi-partisan environmental scan ... a deep dive on NCPDP’s model solution to help stem the tide of ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... The Lymphoma Research ... lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education ... esteemed Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York on May 23, 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... JERUSALEM , May 4, 2016 ... University of Jerusalem announced today that it had ... BioTheryX, Inc. , developer of novel protein degradation ... the development and commercialization of drug candidates representing first-in-class ... the license were not disclosed. The novel ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...  report to their offering.       ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ... Myeloid Leukemia pipeline products, Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Market Outlook 2020" report to their offering. ... technology has improved significantly in past years due to ... coming years. Many cancer drugs have been developed by ... also expected to be developed with its help. They ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: