By presenting specifically developed inhibitors – substances that prevent or impede activities in the cell membrane – the researchers prospered in blocking sugar uptake to the cancer cells.
Just like the bodys cells, cancer cells require energy like the sugar particle, glucose. Scientists have long had an interest in discovering if it is possible to “starve” cancer cells by preventing sugar uptake. It is likewise understood that some cancer cells increase their consumption of sugar molecules as a survival strategy, which can decrease the impact of treatment. Would it be possible to avoid glucose from getting in the cancer cell and in that method increase the effect of chemotherapy?
This is what scientists at Lund University and the University of Pisa have actually studied.
Evaluated by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Jun 23 2020
By avoiding sugar uptake, researchers prospered in increasing the cancer cells level of sensitivity to chemotherapeutic treatment. The research studies, led by scientists at Lund University in Sweden, were carried out on cancer cells in a lab environment. The outcomes were recently published in the research journal Haematologica.
When we blocked the sugar uptake, we then analyzed whether the result of the chemo used in the treatment of AML was improved. It was clear that the cancer cells became even more delicate to the chemo drugs.”
To enable sugar molecules to go into the cancer cell through the cell membrane, the cell uses so-called sugar transporters, which can be compared to swing doors that let compounds in and out. In total, the researchers can presently determine 14 such sugar transporters. In the present study, the scientists examined number 1, GLUT1, and its function in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Karin Lindkvist, Professor of Cell Biology, Lund University
“The outcomes require to be repeated both in experimental research studies and medical trials. My hope is that somebody will take this additional with the objective to treat clients suffering from AML or other cancer illness that we understand use GLUT1 transporters for sugar uptake”, she concludes.
Source: Journal recommendation: Åbacka, H., et al. (2020) Targeting GLUT1 In Acute Myeloid Leukemia To Overcome Cytarabine Resistance. Haematologica. doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.246843.
“Membrane proteins are targets of interest in the development of brand-new treatments and it is frequently known that around half of all drugs on the marketplace today target membrane proteins. There is a lot taking place in the cell, and these proteins manage what goes in and out of the cell. This particular sugar transporter appears to play an essential function, as it is highly effective at assisting the cell to take up sugar. It is also why the cancer cells make more of this transporter in order to obtain more energy”, says Karin Lindkvist.
By avoiding sugar uptake, researchers prospered in increasing the cancer cells level of sensitivity to chemotherapeutic treatment. Simply like the bodys cells, cancer cells need energy like the sugar molecule, glucose. Scientists have long been interested in discovering out if it is possible to “starve” cancer cells by preventing sugar uptake. To allow sugar molecules to go into the cancer cell through the cell membrane, the cell utilizes so-called sugar transporters, which can be likened to swing doors that let substances in and out. There is a lot taking place in the cell, and these proteins control what goes in and out of the cell.
A lot of research study remains to be done prior to it can be utilized in patients.
Understanding these proteins and how they control its swing doors is an important field of research, says Karin Lindkvist.
“Our hope is that combining chemotherapy with inhibitors that obstruct the sugar uptake to the cancer cells, can enhance the impact of the treatment and thus treat more clients in the future”, states Anna Hagström, Senior Lecturer at the Division of Clinical Genetics, Lund University, and co-author of the study.
The form of cancer the scientists studied, intense myeloid leukaemia, is among the most common types of leukaemia among adults. AML has a relatively bad diagnosis and a high danger of relapse, above all among the senior population, as they typically can not tolerate the tough treatment routine as great as younger patients can.