This finding could show why obese people are at increased risk of colon cancer. It could also point to new modes of treating this type of cancer, finds research from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, published today in BJS.
Leptin is a hormone that is released from fat cells (adipocytes) – the more fat you have, the more leptin will be in your blood stream. This hormone plays an important role in regulating bodyweight and energy expenditure.
People who are obese have a two to three fold increased risk of developing colon cancer compared to similar normal-weight individuals. Research has also revealed that some colon cancer cells carry receptors for leptin.
The question is whether there is any evidence that these receptors could respond to increased levels of leptin that are caused by the obesity, and trigger the colon cancer cells to start dividing and growing. Now research shows that this may well be the case.
“These results may explain why obesity increases a person’s risk of colonic cancer, and the fact that we have shown how leptin stimulates these cells means that drug companies may be in a better position to develop new treatments against the disease,” says research co-author Dr Kim Barrett.
By culturing cancer cells in a laboratory, they found that leptin could stimulate growth. In two out of three cell lines, leptin also prevented the sort of programmed cell death (apoptosis) that allows for the orderly death of normal cells, but when reduced, can contribute to cancer.
The researchers then went on to reveal many of the signaling pathways that leptin affected in the cell. This showed that leptin does indeed interfere with many known intra-cellular systems that influence cancer cells.
Julia Lampam | alfa
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy