Cancer genes regulated by nutrients

mediterraneanThe Spanish National National Center has released a new study revealing that a specific protein is activated by an excess of nutrients. This particular protein induces the activation of another protein called mTOR; a protein that is altered in human diseases such as cancer and diabetes, processes associated with ageing, as well as in certain cardiovascular and neurodegenerative pathologies.

The study published in the journal Developmental Cell, opens up new possibilities for the development of drugs involved in the metabolic process for treating diabetes and cancer. Under normal conditions, the activation of mTOR leads to an increase in cell growth and proliferation and is involved with MCRS1 activity and tumours with a high proliferation rate, as well as with a worse of the disease.

“Although in our study we published the results obtained from these samples, we are also studying the relationship between this protein and diseases of the liver, the primary metabolic organ,” said Djouder, the lead study author.

The research is linked to understanding the metabolic processes involved with an increased caloric intake and a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, unravelling the cellular processes that act in response to an excess of nutrients are vital as a as a key to the fight against this disease.

“We will continue to study this gene using different mouse models, where we can study what occurs when there is a gain- or loss-of-function. We are already obtaining interesting results, but further research is necessary.”


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