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Cancer Cell Growth Linked to Mitochondrial Process

Posted Feb 25 2013 10:11pm
Posted on Feb. 22, 2013, 6 a.m. in Cancer Mitochondria

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (Pennsylvania, USA)) researchers have uncovered a technique to halt the growth of cancer cells, a discovery that led them to a potential new anti-cancer therapy.  All cells have a network of mitochondria, which are tiny structures inside cells that are essential for energy production and metabolism. Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) helps mitochondria undergo fission, a process by which they split themselves into two new mitochondria.  When deprived of a this key protein, some cancer cells are unable to properly divide.  The researchers then identified compound called Mdivi-1 that makes cancer cells behave much the way they do when deficient in Drp-1. When used in combination with cisplatin, a drug already used to treat many solid cancers, rapid cell death can be induced in a wide range of cancer cells. This means that Mdivi-1 makes cisplatin work better.  Mdivi-1 is being tested in cancer cells in a laboratory setting. Writing that: “dysfunctional mitochondrial fission directly induces genome instability by replication stress, which then initiates DNA damage response,” the study authors submit that: “ Our findings provide a novel mechanism that contributes to the cellular dysfunction and diseases associated with altered mitochondrial dynamics.”

Qian W, Choi S, Gibson GA, Watkins SC, Bakkenist CJ, Van Houten B. “Mitochondrial hyperfusion induced by loss of fission protein Drp1 causes ATM-dependent G2/M arrest and aneuploidy through DNA replication stress.”  J Cell Sci. 2012 Nov 23.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #127 - Delay Death with Vitamin D
The therapeutic role of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," for bone health, has become well established. A number of recent studies now link vitamin D deficiency to adverse health consequences such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some infectious diseases.

Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA) researchers reported that low blood levels of Vitamin D are associated with a 26% increased risk of death from any cause. The team analyzed data collected on 13,331 adults during a 6-year period after which the subjects were followed for 9 years. People with Vitamin D levels of less than 17.8 ng/mL had a 26% increased rate of death from any cause, compared to people with the highest Vitamin D levels (more than 32.1 ng/mL).

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) reported that those individuals taking vitamin D supplements are at a 7% lower risk of death, as compared to those who did not supplement.

As well, Vitamin D inhibits the body’s inflammatory response and thus reduces the turnover of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell). The length of the leukocyte telomere (the endcap of the chromosome) is a predictor of aging-related disease, whereby it shortens as a result of increased inflammation. A team from King's College, London School of Medicine (United Kingdom) found that people with longer telomeres have higher levels of Vitamin D stored in their bodies. The team reports that: “The difference … was … equivalent to five years of telomeric aging,” suggesting that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels.
 
 
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