Navigation Links
Compounds in saliva and common body proteins may fend off DNA-damaging chemicals
Date:5/30/2014

A compound in saliva, along with common proteins in blood and muscle, may protect human cells from powerful toxins in tea, coffee and liquid smoke flavoring, according to results of a new study led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The findings, reported online May 19 in Food and Chemical Toxicology, suggest that people naturally launch multiple defenses against plant chemicals called pyrogallol-like polyphenols or PLPs found in teas, coffees and liquid smoke flavoring. The presence of these defenses could help explain why PLPs are not crippling cells and causing illness as would be expected from their toxic punch and widespread use, the researchers say.

Last year, Johns Hopkins investigator Scott Kern, M.D., and his colleagues demonstrated that PLPs found in everyday foods and flavorings could do significant damage by breaking strands of DNA, the carrier of all genetic information. The impact of the toxins was so strong--in some cases producing 20 times the damage of chemotherapy drugs delivered to cancer patients--that the researchers immediately thought to find out why there wasn't more damage, and to look for ways that cells might be fighting back.

"If these chemicals are so widespread--they're in flavorings, tea, coffee--and they damage DNA to such a high degree," Kern said, "we thought there must be defense mechanisms that protect us on a daily basis from plants we choose to eat."

Kern and colleagues found that an enzyme in saliva called alpha-amylase, the blood protein albumin, and the muscle protein myoglobin all protected cells from DNA breakage by tea, coffee and isolated PLPs. The researchers identified the amount of DNA damage in the cells by looking for high activity levels of a gene called p53. The gene helps repair DNA damage.

"It was quite easy to uncover a few of these protective substances against the tested cancer therapeutic drugs, which suggests there may be many more layers of defenses against toxins," said Kern, the Kovler Professor of Oncology and Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Kern emphasized that the saliva enzyme and the proteins did not protect against chemotherapeutic drugs, which can also damage DNA, a fact suggesting that defenses against PLPs may have evolved over time, in response to natural plant compounds that have been part of human diets for a long time.

Surprisingly, he says, the cells did not seem to need these protein protectors after a period of exposure to the toxins. "After about two weeks we found it difficult to get the cells to be damaged by the same chemicals, even if they were damaged by the chemicals weeks earlier," Kern explained. "They seem to have some innate ability to respond to the damage or sense it and somehow protect themselves against it, even in the absence of albumin, muscle proteins or saliva components."

"It made us wonder, do people who eat the same PLP-containing diet day after day develop a natural cellular protection to the toxins," Kern asked, "so that, as has been said before, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?"

The researchers plan to explore further how albumin, myoglobin and salivary alpha-amylase protect against PLPs and learn more about other possible innate defenses against the chemicals. Kern also plans to study how these natural defenses might be circumvented in some people, causing cancers or other illnesses.

Kern says the findings also invite speculation as to whether a morning cup of coffee might be less harmful to our bodies if it is enjoyed with the protective myoglobins in a few strips of bacon. Or if eating smoked meats might be less toxic if they are tasty enough to make a diner salivate. But Kern cautions that these ideas are just that--speculation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Vanessa Wasta
wasta@jhmi.edu
410-614-2916
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus
2. Two breath compounds could be associated with larynx cancer
3. New analysis finds hempseed oil packed with health-promoting compounds
4. Dual catalysts help synthesize alpha-olefins into new organic compounds
5. Biocides Market (Halogen Compounds, Metallic Compounds, Organosulfurs) is Growing at a CAGR of 4.6% & to Reach $9.6 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets
6. Compounds outsmart solid tumors malfunctioning machinery
7. Many solid tumors carry genetic changes targeted by existing compounds
8. Ginger compounds may be effective in treating asthma symptoms
9. NIH-supported researchers identify new class of malaria compounds
10. Advance in re-engineering photosynthesis to make drugs, compounds or ingredients
11. Dirty Drugs and We Know It: Attorneys at Console & Hollawell Comment on ISMP Survey Relating to Contaminated Drug Compounds and the Risks to Consumers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Lori G. Cohen and Sara K. Thompson , shareholders ... American Conference Institute’s 21st Drug & Medical Device Litigation Conference , taking place in ... , Cohen, who chairs the firm’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Health Care Litigation Practice ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... over twenty-four years, Doctors on Liens has published a directory of the top ... care. When the company started in 1997, the directory was a single page focusing ... now ten-page directory features a vast array of medical specialists stretching from Sacramento ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... professionals, proudly announces the launch of its 60-day free trial program for all ... trip shipping make the offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... U.S. Surgeon ... interview with Mediaplanet, Dr. Murthy explains how he was inspired to practice medicine at ... learned that medicine is about more than making diagnoses and prescribing medicine,” he states. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic ... based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional associations. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... December 2, 2016 On Thursday, the ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.36% higher, to finish ... 0.35%. Losses were broad based as six out of nine ... research reports on the following Services equities: Myriad Genetics Inc. ... QGEN ), INC Research Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: INCR ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 The concept of rare diseases and the ... this sector has been taking shape in Europe ... aspects and initiatives related to orphan medicinal products have been ... of member states individually. Many member states in the EU ... of orphan medicinal products, the result of which took the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016 Around the corners of world, ... each habitable land present over earth. Cancer has become ... in a life time this is because of the ... now. Given the steady increase in global cancer incidence ... spiraling healthcare costs of treatment, there is increasing interest ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: