The internal body clock may play a decisive role in the fight against certain types of liver cancer, according to preclinical studies, scientists from the Health Science Center, University of Texas at Houston (UTHealth). The results were published recently in the journal Nature Communications.
body clock called the circadian clock is an internal 24-hour time tracking system, which operates in all cells of the body and regulates sleep, metabolism and other vital functions of the body.
"We were able to inhibit liver cancer growth in a mouse model by manipulating the circadian clock at the cellular level," - says Kristin Eckel-Mahan, Ph.D., senior author of the study and assistant professor of metabolic and degenerative diseases of the Center in the School of Medicine in McGovern UTHealth.
Eckel-Mahan said the researchers confirmed their results in human tissue samples.
In 2015 it was registered 32,908 new cases of liver cancer, and 25,760 people died of liver cancer in the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Command Eckel-Mahan identified defective protein that inhibits expression of circadian key transcription factor and blocked the ability of tumor suppressor perform its normal 24-hour cell function. When the researchers forced cancer cells to re-express the protein circadian-deficient tumor cells died.
Fifty percent of the liver tumors that express a defective protein which causes circadian dysfunction in these cells, said Eckel-Mahan, whose laboratory is located at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Brown prophylaxis of human diseases UTHealth.
The study was focused on hepatocellular carcinoma (GC), the leading malignancy of the liver, found in humans, and the second leading cause of all cancer deaths caused by malignant neoplasms. Hepatocellular carcinoma is on the rise and is associated with obesity.
"These results suggest that the targeting of the circadian clock in the GC may be a promising therapy for the growth and progression of tumors of the Civil Code," - the authors write.
The next steps is to determine how to prevent disruption of hours in the first place, and to examine whether pharmacological approaches to improve the function h can also prevent the growth of liver tumors.