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Could dog food additive prevent disabling chemotherapy side effect?
Date:9/20/2013

uld do that.

Ethoxyquin did so, Hke says, apparently by making the cells resistant to the toxic effects of the Taxol.

Once they identified ethoxyquin's effects, they gave intravenous Taxol to mice, and saw nerves in their paws degenerate in a couple of weeks. But when they gave ethoxyquin to the mice at the same time as the Taxol, it prevented two-thirds of the nerve degeneration, which Hke says would have a big impact on quality of life if the same effects were to occur in humans.

Specifically, Hke and his team discovered that molecules of ethoxyquin were binding to Hsp90, one of the so-called heat shock proteins that cells defensively make more of whenever they are stressed. Hsp90 acts as a cell's quality control officer, determining whether a protein is properly formed before sending it out where it is needed. When ethoxyquin binds to Hsp90, two other proteins ataxin-2 and Sf3b2 can't bind to Hsp90. When they can't bind, the cell senses that these two proteins are flawed, so they are degraded and their levels in the cell diminished.

Hke says his team is not certain why too much of those two proteins appears to have a negative effect on nerves, but reducing their levels clearly appears in their studies to make cells more resistant to Taxol toxicity.

Hke and his colleagues are looking into whether this medication could also make nerves more resistant to damage in peripheral neuropathy caused by HIV and diabetes, two other major causes of the pain. A previous study, Hke says, showed that ataxin-2 may cause degeneration in motor neurons in a rare form of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, suggesting that ethoxyquin or some version of it might also benefit people with this disorder.

Twenty to 30 million Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Hke says it's a "huge public health issue" that doesn't get much attention because it is not fatal.

Hke's team is hoping to conduct safety studies w
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Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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