Breaking News
March 23, 2019 - Study suggests depression screening when assessing African-Americans for schizophrenia
March 23, 2019 - New electronic support system for choosing drug treatment based on patient’s genotype
March 23, 2019 - First-of-its-kind study provides pregnancy statistics of imprisoned U.S. women
March 23, 2019 - Marinus Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 3 Study in Children with PCDH19-Related Epilepsy
March 23, 2019 - Laparoscopy: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 23, 2019 - Shellfish allergies: can they be treated?
March 23, 2019 - Toilet seat heart monitoring system
March 23, 2019 - Researchers identify way to improve common treatment for PTSD
March 23, 2019 - High potency cannabis use linked to psychosis finds study
March 23, 2019 - Evoke Pharma Submits Response to FDA Review Letter for Gimoti NDA
March 23, 2019 - Tracking HIV’s ever-evolving genome in effort to prioritize public health resources
March 23, 2019 - Scientists grow most sophisticated brain organoid to date
March 23, 2019 - ADHD drug raising risk of psychosis
March 22, 2019 - FDA approves brexanolone, first drug developed to treat postpartum depression
March 22, 2019 - Gruesome cat and dog experiments by the USDA exposed
March 22, 2019 - Ball pits used in children’s physical therapy may contribute to germ transmission
March 22, 2019 - Long-term use of inexpensive weight-loss drug may be safe and effective
March 22, 2019 - FDA Approves Sunosi (solriamfetol) for Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Associated with Narcolepsy or Obstructive Sleep Apnea
March 22, 2019 - Anti-Müllerian Hormone Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 22, 2019 - Finding the right exercise, diet aids for HIV patients
March 22, 2019 - Health Plans For State Employees Use Medicare’s Hammer On Hospital Bills
March 22, 2019 - Researchers develop new tool for imaging large groups of neurons in living animals
March 22, 2019 - Certain bacteria and immune factors in vagina may cause or protect against preterm birth
March 22, 2019 - Novel breath test could pave new way to non-invasively measure gut health
March 22, 2019 - Pharmaceutical and personal care products may result in new contaminants in waterways
March 22, 2019 - ACC: Catheter Ablation Does Not Cut Mortality, Stroke in A-Fib
March 22, 2019 - Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
March 22, 2019 - Health insurance is not assurance of healthcare
March 22, 2019 - Supporting “curiosity-driven research” at the Discovery Innovation Awards
March 22, 2019 - Must-Reads Of The Week (Some Flying Below The Radar)
March 22, 2019 - Newly engineered nanoscale protein micelles can be tracked by MRI
March 22, 2019 - Mayo Clinic study identifies potential new drug therapy for liver diseases
March 22, 2019 - Pitt engineers win $550,000 NSF CAREER award to develop new intervention for people with ASD
March 22, 2019 - Early discharge does not increase readmission risk for patients after lung surgery
March 22, 2019 - Creating diverse pool of trained scientists to address Alzheimer’s research needs
March 22, 2019 - Surprising discovery offers clues to limit graft-vs.-host disease
March 22, 2019 - Study shows ACA’s positive impact on healthcare affordability and access for women
March 22, 2019 - Study provides new pathway for controlling inflammation
March 22, 2019 - New combination treatment shows promise for common brain tumor in children
March 22, 2019 - Virginia Tech Helmet Lab releases first youth-specific football helmet ratings
March 22, 2019 - New algae-based treatment could reduce need for limb amputation
March 22, 2019 - Stroke risk reduces in both black and white older Medicare beneficiaries, study reports
March 22, 2019 - City of Hope exhibits current studies and data on cancer therapies at AACR
March 22, 2019 - New study identifies CD40 molecule as key entry point for dangerous bacteria
March 22, 2019 - Health Tip: Six Steps to a Healthier Life
March 22, 2019 - even a little activity helps you live longer
March 22, 2019 - Many individuals recovering from addiction continue to suffer from chronic physical disease
March 22, 2019 - New drugs on PBS for Parkinson’s, MND and Cutaneous T cell lymphoma
March 22, 2019 - Saving energy also saves lives, UW-Madison study says
March 22, 2019 - Former inmates who receive social support have better mental health, study finds
March 22, 2019 - Nanofibrous membrane could enhance periodontal tissue regeneration
March 22, 2019 - Anti-vaxxer Italian leader down with chickenpox
March 22, 2019 - Servier collaborates with Harvard researchers to fight metabolic diseases
March 22, 2019 - National Eating Disorders Association
March 22, 2019 - Pumping up red blood cell production
March 22, 2019 - Excessive phosphate fertilizer may hurt plants by altering microbial composition in soil
March 22, 2019 - Medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans’ health, study suggests
March 22, 2019 - Study indicates the benefits of stopping aspirin in heart attack patients
March 22, 2019 - Deep brain stimulation offers significant relief for patients with treatment-resistant depression
March 22, 2019 - Mental health problems in young adults on the rise
March 22, 2019 - Innovative membrane offers a viable solution for periodontitis
March 22, 2019 - The FDA Grants Rare Pediatric Disease Designation to Odiparcil for the Treatment of MPS VI
March 22, 2019 - insulin therapy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 22, 2019 - Guidelines on the use of genetic testing in psychiatry
March 22, 2019 - Aspiring Doctors Seek Advanced Training In Addiction Medicine
March 22, 2019 - A change in focus could enable the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease
March 22, 2019 - A new way to visualize the immune cell “landscape” of bowel cancer tumors
March 22, 2019 - Understanding maintenance of quiescent stem cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia
March 22, 2019 - Ludwig scientists to share advances in cancer research at AACR Annual Meeting 2019
March 22, 2019 - Less invasive valve replacement can be safe and effective alternative for healthier patients
March 22, 2019 - Aphasia research reveals new, complex interactions between thought and language
March 22, 2019 - Artificial neural networks can predict how different areas in the brain respond to words
March 22, 2019 - Age-related changes to gut microbiome have adverse impact on vascular health, study shows
March 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into blood cell and immune cell production
March 22, 2019 - Isolated seniors chat online to prevent cognitive decline
March 22, 2019 - Repurposing drugs to outsmart cancers
March 22, 2019 - Naltrexone implant more effective in reducing relapses in HIV patients with opioid addiction
March 22, 2019 - The Brain Institute wins $7.04 million grant to investigate ‘neurophilosphy of free will’
March 22, 2019 - Karyopharm Announces FDA Extension of Review Period for Selinexor New Drug Application
March 22, 2019 - Eruptive xanthomatosis
Salk researchers solve genetic ‘whodunnit’ for cancer gene

Salk researchers solve genetic ‘whodunnit’ for cancer gene

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Long thought to suppress cancer by slowing cellular metabolism, the protein complex AMPK also seemed to help some tumors grow, confounding researchers. Now, Salk Institute researchers have solved the long-standing mystery around why AMPK can both hinder and help cancer.

The lab of Salk Professor Reuben Shaw showed that late-stage cancers can trigger AMPK’s cellular recycling signal to cannibalize pieces of the cell, supplying large lung tumors with the nutrients they need to grow. The work, which appeared in Cell Metabolism on November 8, 2018, suggests that blocking AMPK in some conditions could stop the growth of advanced tumors in the most common type of lung cancer.

“Our study shows that the same dysfunction in a genetic circuit that causes non-small-cell lung cancer to begin with is necessary for more mature tumor cells to survive when they don’t have enough nutrients,” says Shaw, director of the Salk Cancer Center and the paper’s senior author. “It’s exciting because not only does it solve a genetic ‘whodunnit,’ but it also points to a potential new therapeutic target for a cancer that is often diagnosed very late.”

AMPK acts as a fuel gauge for the cell, overseeing energy input and output to keep the cell running smoothly. Similar to a car sensor flashing a low-gas signal or turning off a vehicle’s AC to save energy, AMPK slows down cell growth and changes the cell’s metabolism if the cell’s fuel (nutrients) is low. Previously, Shaw discovered that AMPK could halt tumors’ revved-up metabolism, as well as restore normal function to the liver and other tissues in diabetics.

But the Shaw lab’s new work suggests that AMPK actually helps large tumors grow. In the current study, the team observed groups of mice with and without the AMPK fuel gauge to see how tumors developed.

“We found that tumors grew much more slowly when AMPK was not present,” says Research Associate Lillian Eichner, the paper’s first author. “That means that AMPK is not always functioning as a tumor suppressor, as we originally thought.”

The team analyzed which genes in tumor cells from the same mouse models were being activated under various conditions. One gene that was particularly active was Tfe3, which is known to activate cellular recycling. It turned out that when tumors became large enough that cells in the middle were too far from easy access to nutrients, AMPK signaled Tfe3 to initiate recycling of cellular materials as nutrients–effectively cannibalizing pieces of the cell–for the tumor to use.

“Previously we were focused on how we could activate AMPK,” says Eichner. “Now that we’ve identified this mechanism, we can shift to how to inhibit it in certain cancers.”

Shaw, who holds the William R. Brody Chair, adds, “We’re excited because more advanced tumors seem to rely on AMPK to survive, and understanding this mechanism means we may be able to treat them.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles