Cancer Cells Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease, Too?

First Posted: Oct 08, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

A new study was published yesterday (06 October, 2016) by the researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center which revealed that some proteins playing a crucial role in the progression of cancer and metastasis are stored in dormant cancer cells in the form of amyloid bodies. When these amyloid bodies disaggregate, the cancer cells become reactivated. These findings were published in Developmental Cell, a journal.

Amyloid bodies are believed to play a pivotal role in the development and further growth of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. However, their associations with the advancement of cancer have not yet been determined. This discovery now indicates the new avenues that can be looked upon while treating various types of cancers by putting into use the knowledge doctors and researchers have gained from neuroscience about tumor biologyaccording to Medical Xpress.

"The amyloid state of protein organization is typically associated with debilitating human neuropathies and rarely observed in physiology," said Stephen Lee, Ph.D. holder, director of the Tumor Biology Program at Sylvester, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Miller School, and the corresponding author of the study.

Yet they found that a huge amount of proteins are stored in the dormant cancer cells as amyloid bodies. There is a possibility of the heat shock disintegrating the amyloid bodies and reactive the dormant cancer cells leading to its progression.

The researchers also concluded that ribosomal intergenic noncoding RNA is responsible for the regulation of the process of amyloid formation in cancer cells. Lee stated that if they could possibly stop amyloid bodies from disaggregating inside the cancer cells, then they may remain dormant for an indefinite period of time. In addition, if they can encourage active cancer cells to store the proteins in the foem of amyloid bodies, then active cancer cells may be converted to dormant thus reducing the risk of death caused by cancer.

Amyloidogenesis enables cells to remain viable during prolonged periods of extracellular stress, highlighting the non-toxic and protective nature of the process, not only in cancer cells.

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