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Study Finds Metabolite Common in Cancers

by Savitha C Muppala on  February 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
 Study Finds Metabolite Common in Cancers
A study published online on February 8 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (www.jem.org) reports that several distinct mutations found in a subset of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) result in excess production of the same metabolite.
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The enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), which normally facilitates production of the metabolite {alpha}-ketoglutarate, is mutated in approximately 80% of secondary brain tumors. This mutant version of IDH1 promotes excess production of a different metabolite: R (-)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG).

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A team led by Tak Mak (Toronto) detected elevated concentrations of 2-HG in the serum of the approximately 8% of AML patients with mutations in IDH1. In addition, they identified a mutation in IDH2—the sister enzyme of IDH1—in some AML patients. These patients also had unusually high serum levels of 2-HG.

Additional work is needed to understand if and how 2-HG influences brain cancer and/or leukemia progression. However, as these mutations have so far only been found in cancer, they may prove useful as drug targets.



Source: Eurekalert
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