Scientist discovers new target for cancer therapy

Tumour cells need far more nutrients than normal cells and these nutrients cannot get into the malignant cells without transporters.

These are compounds that are responsible for the absorption of peptides, amino acids, sugars, vitamins and other nutrients. They exist in all cell types, particularly in those tissues responsible for the absorption of nutrients, such as the intestine and kidneys.

What if you could turn off a transporter that was important to , but not to normal cells?

Dr Vadivel Ganapathy, of the Medical College of Georgia, suggests we can do that. He and his team report in a paper published in the Biochemical Journal today that the plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 can inhibit the spread of tumours by decreasing the amount of the anti-apoptotic protein surviving in tumour cells. This induces apoptosis (cell death) and renders the tumour cells more sensitive to anti-. All this without affecting the activity of SLC5A8 in normal cells.

Tests in in mice have proved promising. "Our studies unravel a novel, hitherto unrecognized, mechanism for the tumour-suppressive role of a plasma membrane transporter independent of its transport function," he says.

To aide in the dissemination of this research, the Biochemical Journal has made this paper freely available for a period of two months from the date of this press release.

More information: Coothankandaswamy, V. The plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 suppresses tumour progression through depletion of survivin without involving its transport function, Biochemical Journal, (2013) 450, 169-178. www.biochemj.org/bj/450/bj4500169.htm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research aims to starve breast cancer cells

Aug 29, 2011

The most common breast cancer uses the most efficient, powerful food delivery system known in human cells and blocking that system kills it, researchers report.

Research makes significant cancer breakthrough

Aug 08, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A major breakthrough by scientists at Queen's University Belfast could lead to more effective treatments for throat and cervical cancer. The discovery could see the development of new therapies, which ...

Recommended for you

Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

11 hours ago

The five-year survival rate for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer was higher than national levels in a small study at a single academic center performing a high rate of surgical therapy, including a total laryngectomy (removal ...

Gene test aids cancer profile

21 hours ago

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.