Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mystery solved of source of anti-cancer effects in pregnancy hormone

24.06.2014

University of Montreal scientists have identified a small molecule found in pregnant women’s urine that apparently blocks the growth of several types of cancers, including AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, which currently has no cure. Their study results will be presented Monday at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and The Endocrine Society: ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago.

These findings resurrect a nearly 20-year controversy over whether human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced in high amounts during pregnancy, or its core fragments, or something else yields anti HIV and cancer-fighting activity against Kaposi’s sarcoma tumors.

Some researchers in the mid-1990s reported that “clinical-grade” hCG—crude or partially purified preparations of hCG extracted from pregnant women’s urine—shrunk these AIDS tumors, but they later retracted their original claim that hCG itself was the active component responsible for activity against Kaposi’s sarcoma.

“The real compound has been elusive,” said principal investigator Tony Antakly, PhD, a biochemist at the University of Montreal, who said it has taken his small group of researchers more than 12 years to find the answer.

Early on, and shortly before this retraction, Antakly’s group tested highly purified or recombinant hCG in Kaposi’s sarcoma cells and found no anti-cancer effects. They concluded that the cancer-fighting compound, closely associated with the pregnancy hormone, must be removed when hCG is purified.

Both clinical-grade and recombinant hCG are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as prescription medications for the treatment of select cases of female infertility and as hormone treatment for men.

The researchers narrowed their search to small molecular weight factors present in clinical-grade hCG that they called hCG-like inhibitory products, or HIP. To find the active molecule or part of a molecule, they used a biochemical approach involving systematically splitting the molecule (fractionation), repeatedly performing biological assays and chemical characterization.

Their results indicate that a small metabolite—the product of transformation of a larger molecule carried throughout blood and urine—into a potent bioactive metabolite that affects living tissue.

“We don’t know if it changes only when needed,” Antakly said. “Perhaps in cancer, it changes to fight the disease.”

This HIP metabolite, they discovered, rides “piggyback” on the larger hCG molecule, which chaperones it to target cells. When hCG is extensively purified, the metabolite loses its ride and disappears, Antakly stated.

However, when he and his colleagues exposed human Kaposi’s sarcoma cells in tissue cultures to hCG after purification from pregnant women’s urine, he said the active HIP metabolite “wiped out the cancer cells completely.”

Antakly said they do not yet know whether a synthetic replica of the HIP metabolite, which they are developing, is safe and effective to use at high doses in patients with cancer. However, in preliminary tests in cancer patients, they have shown that the “natural” HIP (purified from clinical-grade hCG) is safe and has anti-cancer activity.

William Raillant-Clark | AlphaGalileo
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

Further reports about: Mystery anti-cancer cancer-fighting hormone metabolite pregnancy sarcoma synthetic tumors urine

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?
27.08.2015 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors
27.08.2015 | Cornell University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

Im Focus: A Grand Voyage for Tiny Organisms

Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Mediterranean

Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 many hundreds of marine animal and plant species from the Red Sea have invaded the eastern Mediterranean, leading...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cells cling and spiral 'like vines' in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

27.08.2015 | Life Sciences

Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?

27.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors

27.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>