backtop


Print 32 comment(s) - last by suzzane.. on Apr 17 at 7:16 AM


  (Source: Futurity)
Study suggests special Vitamin E-derived drug will be most effective

Vitamin E is a vitamin used by the human body for a variety of purposes.  Composed of two groups of fused aromatic rings and a fatty tail, the vitamin commonly occurs in two varieties -- beta and gamma-Tocopherols.  Now a new study by Ohio State University suggests that vitamin E -- or synthetic analogues -- may be useful in fighting a broad spectrum of cancers.

I. Vitamin E Variants Can Fight Cancer

The new study by Ching-Shih Chen, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at The Ohio State University and an investigator in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, first examined Vitamin E's role in suppressing Akt, an enzyme that helps keep cancer cells alive.

Professor Chen comments, "This is the first demonstration of a unique mechanism of how vitamin E can have some benefit in terms of cancer prevention and treatment."

Akt is associated with keeping a variety of cancer cells alive.  It is common in many common cancerous cell types with PTEN gene mutations -- such as prostate cancers.  The excess Akt suppress apoptosis (cell death) granting the dangerous cells immortality.  But suppressing Akt allows the body's natural processes to trigger death of the tumor cells.

Before you rush to load up on Vitamin E pills beware -- the pills contain mostly alpha and beta-Tocopherols, forms of Vitamin E, which the study found to be less effective in suppressing Akt.  By contrast, the gamma form is generally poorly absorbed from dietary supplements and scarcer in pill formulations.
Vitamin E structure
γ Vitamin E and its derivatives are most effective in fighting cancer.
[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

Researchers discovered that by tweaking the structure of the more effective gamma variant -- shortening the fatty acid side chain -- they could get an even more impressive 20-fold increase in Akt suppression.

II. Mechanism of Action Identified, OSU Patents Drug

The researchers explain that the effect occurs when Vitamin E binds to Akt and sequesters it to the fatty lipid bilayer on the cell's inner surface.  The complex then attracts PHLPP1, an anti-tumor agent that binds and inactivates Akt.  Professor Chen explains, "This is a new finding. We have been taking vitamin E for years but nobody really knew about this particular anti-cancer mechanism.  By reducing two-thirds of the chain, the molecule had a 20 times more potent anti-tumor effect, while retaining the integrity of vitamin E’s head group."

Rodents injected with the Vitamin E-like chemical saw death of prostate cancer tumors, saving their lives.  At the same time the agent showed no toxicity or other adverse effects.
AKT1AKT2
AKT1 (left) and AKT2 (right) are common cancer-causing proteins, which the Vitamin E derivatives block. [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

While dietary vitamin E is crucial for other purposes, the successful tumor-killing properties of the vitamin E derivative could lead to a new non-toxic cancer therapy via either injections of the drug or ingested absorption.  Describes Professor Chen, "Our goal is to develop a safe pill at the right dose that people could take every day for cancer prevention. It takes time to optimize the formulation and the dose."

Ohio State has patented the Vitamin-E derived chemical, indicating that it hopes to commercialize it as a cancer treatment.

The work was funded by government grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a paper on the work was published in this month's issue of the peer-reviewed journal Science Signaling.

Sources: Ohio State Univ., Science Signaling



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Greed
By havoti97 on 3/26/2013 12:19:31 PM , Rating: 4
Except this was discovered at an academic institution and probably through grants funded by the US government, aka taxpayers. If this was discovered by a privately run lab paid by someone out of their own pocket, I wouldn't have any issue with them patenting the finding and reaping the benefits for their risks.


RE: Greed
By ClownPuncher on 3/26/2013 12:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
How do we know they will make it unnafordable?


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki