Wednesday October 16, 2019

Molecule Found that Helps Synchronize Absorption of Nutrients in Gut with Rhythms of Day-Night Light Cycle

The team also found that microbes programme these so-called circadian rhythms by activating a protein named "histone deacetylase 3" (HDAC3)

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Molecule, Absorption, Nutrients
Dr Lora Hooper and her research team at UT Southwestern found that the good bacteria that live in the guts of mammals programme the metabolic rhythms. Pixabay

A team of US researchers have found a molecule that helps synchronize the absorption of nutrients in the gut with the rhythms of the Earth’s day-night light cycle — a discovery that has far-ranging implications for obesity in affluent countries and malnutrition in impoverished countries.

Dr Lora Hooper and her research team at UT Southwestern found that the good bacteria that live in the guts of mammals programme the metabolic rhythms that govern the body’s absorption of dietary fat.

The team also found that microbes programme these so-called circadian rhythms by activating a protein named “histone deacetylase 3” (HDAC3), which is made by cells that line the gut.

Those cells act as intermediaries between bacteria that aid in digestion of food and proteins that enable absorption of nutrients.

Molecule, Absorption, Nutrients
A team of US researchers have found a molecule that helps synchronize the absorption of nutrients in the gut with the rhythms of the Earth’s day-night light cycle — a discovery that has far-ranging implications for obesity in affluent countries and malnutrition. Pixabay

The microbiome actually communicates with our metabolic machinery to make fat absorption more efficient.

“But when fat is overabundant, this communication can result in obesity. Whether the same thing is going on in other mammals, including humans, is the subject of future studies,” said lead author Dr Zheng Kuang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Hooper’s laboratory in the study published in the journal Science.

The study, done in mice, revealed that HDAC3 turns on genes involved in the absorption of fat.

They found that HDAC3 interacts with the biological clock machinery within the gut to refine the rhythmic ebb and flow of proteins that enhance absorption of fat.

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This regulation occurs in the daytime in humans, who eat during the day, and at night in mice, which eat at night.

“Our results suggest that the microbiome and the circadian clock have evolved to work together to regulate metabolism,” said Hooper.

Disrupting the interactions between the microbiota and the body’s clock could make us more likely to become obese.

“These disruptions happen frequently in modern life when we take antibiotics, work overnight shifts, or travel internationally. But we think that our findings might eventually lead to new treatments for obesity – and possibly malnutrition – by altering the bacteria in our guts,” the researchers mentioned. (IANS)

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Naturally Occurring Molecule in Immune System Kills Cancer Cells

Researchers have found a naturally occurring molecule and a component of the immune system that could successfully target and kill cancer cells

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human, ageing, development, cancer, study
The researchers found that in most of the tissues examined, ageing and cancer gene expression 'surprisingly' changed in the opposite direction. Pixabay

Researchers have found a naturally occurring molecule and a component of the immune system that could successfully target and kill cancer cells, according to a study.

The study, published in British Journal of Cancer, discovered that beta-galactoside-binding protein, a naturally occurring molecule produced by immune cells can non-specifically target cancer cells, make them undergo cell death and through a stress response pathway make the cancer cells visible to the immune system to prompt an anti-cancer immune response that would secure protection against recurrences.

“By contrast, the anti-tumour property of the molecule is selective and not harmful to normal cells. It is effective against the most aggressive colorectal cancer cells and a wide range of other cancer cells equally unresponsive to current therapies,” said study lead author Professor Livio Mallucci from King’s College London.

“This research presents experimental evidence for a strategy where the targeting of cancer cells and the stimulation of immunity combine to prompt immediate and long-term responses against aggressive cancer,” he said.

According to the researchers, major developments in anti-cancer therapies have taken place over the last decade, but as only a subset of patients respond to treatments, there is a need for further development.

Crucially, there is a need to induce the immune system to ensure long-term protection against the recurrence of cancer.

molecule, immune system, body, cancer, kill cancer cells
Beta-galactoside-binding protein, a naturally occurring molecule produced by immune cells can non-specifically target cancer cells. Pixabay

Current approaches to achieve this involve killing cells by using chemotherapeutics and other agents which could be harmful and have uncertain outcomes, the study said.

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“Translation of the molecule to the clinic could open a new therapeutic opportunity which safely combines direct killing of cancer cells and the stimulation of the immune system against recurrences, a significant step forward in the management of cancer,” he added. (IANS)