Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Can Weight and Diet Predict Sleep Quality:

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016


Holistic-Health-Show-with-Dr-Carl-O-HelvieA new study presented at the American Professional Sleep Society this week in Denver concluded that an individual’s body composition and caloric intake can influence time spent in specific sleep stages . In the study 36 healthy adults spent two consecutive nights in bed for 10 hours at the hospital at the U of Pennsylvania. Physiological changes that occur during sleep was recorded on the second night on a Polysomnograph. Body composition and resting energy expenditures were assessed in the morning following the first night of sleep and food/drink intake were measured and recorded each day.

Results showed that body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and resting energy expenditures were not significant predictors of sleep stage duration. However, overweight adults exhibited a higher percentage  of time spent in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep than normal-weight adults.  REM sleep stage  is when dreams typically occur and is characterized by a faster heart rate and breathing and less restorative sleeping  than in non-REN stages. They also found that increased protein intake predicted less stage 2 sleep and predicted more REM sleep. Stage 2 sleep is the period when a person’s  heart rate and breathing are relatively normal and his/her body temperature is slightly lower. Researchers said further research is needed to determine whether changing protein intake alters REM sleep duration and to find the biologicval mechanism behind this relationship.

Protein-A Breast Cancer Tumor Suppressor.

Friday, May 27th, 2016


Logos 005A new study published recently in online Oncogene concluded that  HOXA5 protein in normal breast cells acts as a tumor suppressor that halts abnormal cell growth. This builds upon  previous research finding that many breast cancer patients have a lower level of HOXA5 protein, a gene product known to control cell differentiation and death, and lower levels of the protein corresponded to poorer outcomes for patients.

In the study, researchers analyzed gene expression from human breast cell lines lacking HOXA5 and found that the protein seems to help maintain several traits in normal breast cancer, including the ability to adhere to other epithelial cells, and the presence of molecules marking the cells as differentiated and not capable of self-renewal like breast stem cells. When they depleted the HOXA5 proein in other breast cell lines in the lab, the cells became more immature, or stemlike, as well as more mobile. They also found that HOCA3 regulates the production of two other proteins, CD24 and E-cadherin, cells, without CD24, the cells begin to revert toward a stem like state, and without E-cadherin, cells lose some of the glue that binds them to other cells.  Consequently, breast cells without HOXA5 were more likely to grow aggressively in lab experiments forming structures similar to those seen as tumor cells ready to metastasize.

After injecting human tumor cells with and without HOXA5 into the mammary fat pad of mice they found that tumor cells containing protein carried anywhere from 10 to 17 times fewer breast stem cells, and tumor growth from the injected cells were about 3 times smaller than those in mice who received tumor cells with depleted levels of HOXA5. Further research is planned on breast cancer and the role of HOXA5,

New Treatment that Effects Lung Cancer Cell Cycles But Does Not Effect Normal Cells.

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Lung Cancer Cell Cycles

A new lung cancer treatment reported in a recent issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine has been in development for 6 years and involves a molecule, RK-33, that interrupts  the cell cycle of lung cancer cells without harming normal cells and is effective by itself or in combination with radiation therapy. The researchers designed the RK-33 to bind to DDX3, an enzyme that helps in RNA unwinding and translating RNA into proteins. They also found that RK-33 is involved in DNA repair.  Normal cells have many such enzymes, but some cancer cells, including over 90 percent of lung cancer samples studied by the researchers, over expressed DDX3. Binding DDX3 with RK-33 reduces the amount of DDX3 available causing the cancer cells to die and making radiation therapy, that damages DNA, more effective. The researchers say “We can lower the dose of radiation significantly but actually get more bang for your buck” by pretreating lung cancer cells with RK-33. Further research is ongoing in multiple cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate, sarcoma and colorectal cancer.

Can a Protein Marker Predict the Spread of Malignant Melanoma?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Malignant Melanoma and Protein MarkerMalignant Melanoma: A  new study published in Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research concluded that a new protein, megalin, has been found in aggressive malignant cells and might be useful to predict whether and how the cancer will spread and how spread can be prevented. Currently it is not possible to predict which malignant melanomas will spread and it is difficult to eliminate because traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are mostly ineffective with only 10 percent of patients surviving after reaching an advanced stage with distant metastases. The researchers said “Our studies have shown that the protein megalin is almost always detectable in malignant melanomas, while it is rarely found in the benign counterparts. We see a clear trend that the more megalin is present, the faster the cells divide and the better they are at surviving. This therefore indicates that a high level of megalin in a malignant melanoma should be seen as a warning of particular aggressive cancer cells with extremely good conditions for spreading.” They further said “It is a new and interesting marker that no-one has thought of before……….In a best case scenario, this discovery can pinpoint those patients who will experience a relapsse, and identify which treatment will benefit which patient the most.”

Regarding treatment the researchers say “In general, protein is present at the surface of cells and can absorb many things from the surroundings such as nutrients.  So it is therefore well suited for targeted treatment, either medicine affecting the protein and its functioning thereby inhibiting the proliferation of the cancer cells and their survival, or for transporting lethal drugs into the cancer cells. Since the protein is not found in all of the cells in our body, but in a limited number of places in a healthy individual. this tyoe of treatment can be expected to have less side-effects than the treatment  regime we can offer today.”  More research is ongoing.



Can Molecule Imaging Improve Bladder Cancer Detection?

Friday, November 7th, 2014


New research published in Science Translational Medicine reported the development of a new strategy that they say could detect bladder cancer with more accuracy and sensitivity than standard endoscopy methods.  They identified a protein known as CD47 as a molecular imaging target to distinguish bladder cancer from benign tissue. Researchers said “Our motivation is to improve diagnosis of bladder cancer that can better differentiate cancer from noncancer, which is exceedingly challenging at times.  Molecular imaging offers the possibility of real-tie cancer detection at the molecular level during diagnostic cytoscopy and tumor resection.”

To improve specificity of imaging the researchers found CD47 that is a protein on a cell’s surface that signals the immune system not to attack the cell and most cells produce it. However, cancer cells make a lot more of it than normal cells. Previous research has shown that blocking the signal from the CD47 of cancer cells allowed the immune system to resume its attack against many types of cancer cells. They developed an anti-CD47 antibody that binds to the cancer cell’s surface and blocks the signal.

The current researchers hypothesized that if it was a good therapeutic target and its also expressed on the surface of the cancer cells, it might be a good imaging target. To test this the added a fluorescent molecule to an antibody that binds to CD47. The modified antibodies were then introduced into intact bladders surgically removed from patients with invasive bladder cancer. After 30 minutes they rinsed the bladder,so only the antibodies that bound to theCD47 protein remained. When the tumor was exposed to fluorescent light, the cancer cells “lit up” whereas normal or inflamed cells did not. They said this “will add to the existing technology and may help avoid unnecessary biopsies.”

Can a Protein be Used to Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


A recent study published in Cell Death and Differentiation concluded that a protein that could prevent metastasis and recurrence of breast cancer has been identified. The absence of receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and Her2 in triple-negative breast cancer makes hormone therapies unsuccessful. Because of this lack of therapies,  the researchers examined a family of protein kinase enzymes, specifically, atypical protein kinase c lambda/iota signaling during the invasive phase of triple-negative breast cancer with tissue samples of breast cancer that had spread to the liver, lung, and other organs. They found that atypical protein kinase c lambda/iota, which is known to influence cell growth, was highly expressed and phosphorylated in metastatic breast cancer.

To further test the relationship, they depleted the protein in a line of triple-negative breast cancer cells known to be highly invasive and metastatic and found that depleting the protein significantly slowed the breast cancer tumor in mice. Researchers said “We have been able to show that this protein is highly expressed in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, and when we are depleting it from triple-nehative cancer cells, we found that the cancer cells are not metastasizing.,The tumor growth is slowing down giving us an opportunity for a targeted therapy. ”  “Targeting this protein might prevent metastasis and recurrence of breast cancer.” .

Interviews with Dr Judy Seeger (naturopathic physician) and Jan Jargon (cancer survivor) now available.

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Judy-photo-update-425x640-199x300jan jargonDr Judy Seeger (left) and Jan Jargon were goests on the Holistic Health show yesterday.

Dr Seeger, a naturopathic physician and pioneer professional in alternative medicine, focuses on cancer and has an easy to follow health plan for this group of patients. More information was presented earlier on this site and can be found at:

Jan Jargon is an emergency medical technologist who is working on a doctorate in medical anthropology and counsels cancer patients. More information was presented earlier on this site and can be found at:

Enjoy the interview below:



Is Protein Balance Involved in Preventing Cancer?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in a current issue of Developmental Cell concluded that two proteins previously believed to carry out the same function are actually antagonists of each other, and keeping them in balance is necessary to prevent cancer. Results suggest that new compounds could fight cancer by targeting the pathways responsible for maintaining the proper balance between the two proteins. The proteins, Rp122 and Rp122-like1 contribute to the process of making additional cellular proteins and are created by two similar genes. This lead to researchers to believe they had similar functions. However, the current researchers said “Not only are they performing different functions, they are antagonizing each other.”

In their research Rp122 was knocked out in zebrafish and without this zebrafish do not develop a type of T cells that help fight infection. The same results were observed when they knocked out Rp122-like1 and indicating that both proteins are independently needed to enable stem cells to give rise to T cells. When researchers tried to restore T cells in zebrafish that lacked Rp122 by adding back Rp122-like-1 it did not work. The reverse was also true.  Thus, researchers concluded that although both are required to produce stem cells,l they do not perform the same function. Next researchers looked at the level of different proteins invlived in stem cell production when either Rp122 or Rp122-like-1 were absent and found that without Rp122-like1 cells had lower levels of a protein known as Smad1 that is a critical driver of stem cell development. And when Rp122 disappeared, levels of Smal1 increased dramatically. Roth proteins can bind directly to the cellular RNA from which Smal1 is produced, suggesting that they maintain balance in stem cell production via their antagonistic effects on Smal1. The researchers said ” I like to think of Rp122 as a brake, and Rp122-like1 as a gas pedal and in order to drive stem cell production both need to be employed properly.  As an example they said too much Rp122 and stem cell production shuts off, decreasing the number of blood cells and leading to problems such as anemia, whereas, too much Rp122-like1 can create an over-production of stem cells leading to leukemia.

Is it Possible to Stop Metastases of Cancer Cells Without Side Effects?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

In a new study published in the online edition of Nature researchers conclude that it may be possible to block the formation of secondary cancers in the body. These cancers that have metastasized are often the main cause of complications and death. Instead of focusing on the primary cancer the researchers looked at the development of the metastasized cancers and found a protein that plays a major role in their development. They also found that the secondary cancers could be prevented by blocking the protein.

They found a protein, periostin, in niches where metastases develop and without this protein the cancer stem cells cannot initiate the metastasis but instead, disappear or remain dormant. Periostin, that exists naturally as part of the extracellular matrix is only active in certain organs in adults including the mammary glands, bones, skin and intestine. It seems to play a role in the environment needed by cancer stem cells to develop metastasis because mice that were bred to lack the protein were resistant to metastasis. Researchers said “We developed an antibody that adheres to this protein, making it inoperative, and we are hoping it this way to be able to block the process of metastasis formation.” The researchers found few side effects from blocking the periostin in mice but caution that the results, although encouraging, cannot be assured to be effective in humans without further research.