Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UIC researchers show how cancer-preventing foods work

11.07.2005


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are unraveling the biochemical mechanism by which functional foods combat cancer.



"Compounds like sulforaphane in broccoli and resveratrol in wine have been shown to prevent cancer," said Andrew Mesecar, associate professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology in the UIC College of Pharmacy. "They do that by signaling our bodies to ramp up the production of proteins capable of preventing damage to our DNA.

"We now have a good idea how that signal works."


The findings are published in this week’s Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Two key proteins, Keap1 and Nrf2, are involved in spurring the defense against cancer when disease-preventing foods are ingested, according to Mesecar and post-doctoral researcher Aimee Eggler. Keap1, the sensor protein, detects the presence of dietary compounds like sulforaphane when they link with its cysteine residues, one of the amino acids that make up proteins. Keap1 binds to Nrf2, the messenger that turns on the genes for the protective proteins, averting DNA damage.

"Earlier studies in mice suggested that natural cancer-preventing compounds worked by severing the tie between Keap1 and Nrf2, freeing Nrf2 to take action," Mesecar said. "But the signaling doesn’t happen this way in humans."

The scientists found that in humans the connection between the two proteins is not broken.

What’s important, the researchers said, is the modification of cysteines in Keap1. They found that one particular cysteine was among the most likely to be altered in the interaction with cancer-preventing compounds.

That finding corresponded with results from other researchers. As a result, the scientists are proposing that the alteration of just this one amino acid in Keap1 is the critical step that spurs higher levels of the messenger Nrf2 and, consequently, increased production of the protective proteins.

Keap1 is a promising new target for drugs to fight many different kinds of cancer, Mesecar said.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 1.3 million new cases of cancer in 2005, and roughly half of these individuals will not survive their disease, Mesecar noted. "One way of preventing cancer may be to eat certain foods rich in cancer-preventing compounds. An alternative is identifying how these compounds work and replicating their modes of action with drugs."

Mesecar’s and Eggler’s main collaborators in the study were Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy in the UIC College of Pharmacy, and Guowen Liu, a graduate student at UIC. John Pezzuto, professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue University, is also an author of the study.

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>