Statins lower cholesterol by blocking certain enzymes involved in our metabolism. However, they have also been shown to affect other important lipids in the body, such as the lipids that help proteins to attach to the cell membrane (known as lipid modification). Because many of the proteins that are lipid-modified cause cancer, there are now hopes that it will be possible to use statins in the treatment of cancer.
"Our results support the idea that statins can be used in more ways than just to lower cholesterol," says Pilon. "Not least that they can prevent the growth of cancer cells caused by lipid-modified proteins, but also that they can be effective in the treatment of diabetes and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's."
The article Statins Inhibit Protein Lipidation and Induce the Unfolded Protein Response in the Non-Sterol Producing Nematode C. elegans, published in the journal PNAS, is the result of a research partnership between the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Southern Denmark.
Link to paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/10/13/0907117106.abstract
Helena Aaberg | idw
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