Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Protein Controlling Glucose Metabolism also a Tumor Suppressor

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A protein known to regulate how cells process glucose also appears to be a tumor suppressor, adding to the potential that therapies directed at cellular metabolism may help suppress tumor growth.

In their report in the Dec. 7 issue of Cell, a multi-institutional research team describes finding that cells lacking the enzyme SIRT6, which controls how cells process glucose, quickly become cancerous. They also found evidence that uncontrolled glycolysis, a stage in normal glucose metabolism, may drive tumor formation in the absence of SIRT6 and that suppressing glycolysis can halt tumor formation.

"Our study provides solid evidence that SIRT6 may function as a tumor suppressor by regulating glycolytic metabolism in cancer cells," says Raul Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, senior author of the report. "Critically, our findings indicate that, in tumors driven by low SIRT6 levels, drugs that may inhibit glycolysis - currently a hot research topic among biotechnology companies - could have therapeutic benefits."

The hypothesis that a switch in the way cells process glucose could set off tumor formation was first proposed in the 1920s by German researcher Otto Warburg, who later received the Nobel Prize for discoveries in cellular respiration. He observed that, while glucose metabolism is normally a two-step process involving glycolysis in the cellular cytoplasm followed by cellular respiration in the mitochondria, in cancer cells rates of glycolysis are up to 200 times higher. Warburg's proposition that this switch in glucose processing was a primary cause of cancer did not hold up, as subsequent research supported the role of mutations in oncogenes, which can spur tumor growth if overexpressed, and tumor suppressors, which keep cell proliferation under control. But recent studies have suggested that alterations in cellular metabolism may be part of the process through which activated oncogenes or inactivated tumor suppressors stimulate cancer formation.

A 2010 study led by Mostoslavsky found that the absence of SIRT6 - one of a family of proteins called sirtuins that regulate many important biological pathways - appears to "flip the switch" from normal glucose processing to the excess rates of glycolysis seen in cancer cells. The current study was specifically designed to investigate whether SIRT6's control of glucose metabolism also suppresses tumor formation. The research team first showed that cultured skin cells from embryonic mice lacking SIRT6 proliferated rapidly and quickly formed tumors when injected into adult mice. They also confirmed elevated glycolysis levels in both cells lacking SIRT6 and tumor cells and found that formation of tumors through SIRT6 deficiency did not appear to involve oncogene activation.

Analysis of tumor samples from patients found reduced SIRT6 expression in many - particularly in colorectal and pancreatic tumors. Even among patients whose tumors appeared to be more aggressive, higher levels of SIRT6 expression may have delayed or, for some, prevented relapse. In a mouse model programmed to develop numerous colon polyps, the researchers showed that lack of intestinal SIRT6 expression tripled the formation of polyps, many of which became invasive tumors. Treating the animals with a glycolytic inhibitor significantly reduced tumor formation, even in the absence of SIRT6.

"Our results indicate that, at least in certain cancers, inhibiting glycolytic metabolism could provide a strong alternative way to halt cancer growth, possibly acting synergistically with current anti-tumor therapies," says Mostoslavsky, an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Cancer metabolism has only recently emerged as a hallmark of tumorigenesis, and the field is rapidly expanding. With the current pace of research and the speed at which some basic discoveries are moving into translational studies, it is likely that drugs targeting cancer metabolism may be available to patients in the near future."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Breast Cancer Cells Found To Switch Molecular Characteristics
Spontaneous interconversion between HER2-positive and HER2-negative states could contribute to progression, treatment resistance in breast cancer.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Obesity Prevents Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers discover mechanism, linked to obesity, that increases inflammation and conditions in pancreatic cancer by creating an ideal micro-environment.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Nanoprobe Enables Measurement of Protein Dynamics in Living Cells
Mass. General and Harvard researchers use device to measure how anesthetic affects levels of Alzheimer's-associated proteins.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Alzheimer’s Protein Serves as Natural Antibiotic
Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques may be part of natural process to trap microbes, findings suggest new therapeutic strategies.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Rapid Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections
Mass. General-developed compact system could shorten diagnostic time from days to hours, bring testing to point of care.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Functional Heart Muscle Regenerated in Decellularized Human Hearts
Mass. General team generates stem-cell derived heart muscle in cell-free human cardiac matrix.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
First Gene that Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse Identified
An international research collaboration led by MGH investigators has identified the first gene in which mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of the population.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Intracellular Microlasers Could Allow Precise Labeling of up to a Trillion Individual Cells
MGH investigators have induced structures incorporated within individual cells to produce laser light at wavelengths that differ based on the size, shape and composition of each microlaser, allowing precise labeling of individual cells.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Evo-Engineered CRISPR-Cas9s Hit More Gene-Editing Targets
Scientists have engineered a more effective CRISPR- Cas9 system paving the way for more advanced applications.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Reducing Chemotherapy Drug’s Cardiac Side Effects
Preventing doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity could improve chemotherapy outcomes, reduce heart failure risk.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Direct Drug Screening Of Biopsies Could Overcome Resistance
Combining genetic with pharmacologic screening of tumors may enable truly individualized treatment regimens.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Culture System Replicates Course Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Three-dimensional system should significantly reduce time and costs of drug development.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Genetic Signals Reflect the Evolutionary Impact of Cholera
Study identifies regions of genome associated with cholera susceptibility in Bangladesh.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Powerful Gene-Editing Tool Appears to Cause Off-Target Mutations in Human Cells
Results indicate need to improve precision of CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided nucleases.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Mass. General, Duke Study Identifies Two Genes that Combine to Cause Rare Syndrome
Mutations in genes that regulate cellular metabolism found in families with ataxia, dementia and reproductive failure.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Insight into Eye Diseases
Scientists recreate zebrafish cell regeneration from retinal stem cells in mice.
New Discovery May Benefit Farmers Worldwide
Scientists have shown how a crop-microbe 'team' protect against fungal infection.
Antibodies Paving the Way to HIV Vaccine
Researchers uncover factors responsible for the formation of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies in humans.
Designing Drugs with a Whole New Toolbox
Researchers develop methods to design small, targeted proteins with shapes not found in nature.
Protein Studies Discover Molecular Secrets
Two protein studies have mapped proteins that reveal the secrets to recycling carbon and healing cells.
Tapping Evolution to Improve Biotech Products
Researchers show how 'ancestral sequence reconstruction' can be used to guide engineering of a blood clotting protein.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!