About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Role of Cholesterol Identified

by Sheela Philomena on July 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Font : A-A+

 New Role of Cholesterol Identified

Cholesterol activates a cellular signaling pathway that has been linked to cancer. The finding is reported in Nature Communications.

Cells employ thousands of signaling pathways to conduct their functions. Canonical Wnt signaling is a pathway that promotes cell growth and division and is most active in embryonic cells during development. Overactivity of this signaling pathway in mature cells is thought to be a major driver in the development of cancer. "Our research points to a new regulatory role for cholesterol, and also presents an exciting new therapeutic target for suppressing canonical Wnt signaling to treat or prevent cancer," said Wonhwa Cho, professor of chemistry at UIC and principal investigator of the research. Cho and his colleagues were searching for novel cholesterol-binding proteins when they discovered a binding site for cholesterol on a protein called Dishevelled.

Advertisement

Dishevelled is involved in canonical Wnt signaling and in non-canonical Wnt signaling, which plays a role in processes like cell movement and organization. Dishevelled is like a switch on the track -- when the signal reaches Dishevelled, the signal is directed along either the canonical or non-canonical Wnt pathway. But until now, any factor governing activation of one pathway over the other was unknown, Cho said. "Once we realized that cholesterol is able to bind specifically to Dishevelled, we became interested in cholesterol as a potential determinant of which of the Wnt signaling pathways gets activated," he said. The researchers found that when cholesterol is bound to Dishevelled, the signal continues along the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Without cholesterol, canonical Wnt signaling cannot occur. They also noticed that localized increases in cholesterol within cell membrane seemed to selectively promote canonical Wnt signaling over non-canonical Wnt signaling -- a finding, Cho said, that might explain why elevated cholesterol increases cancer risk. "We know that things like high-fat diets, which boost cholesterol levels, have been linked to an elevated incidence of cancer," he said. "Our research provides a mechanism for how cholesterol promotes pathways that lead to cancer." It also presents a possible therapeutic target. A drug that interferes with the binding of cholesterol to Dishevelled, Cho said, may be effective against those cancers that are driven by canonical Wnt signaling -- a list that includes colon cancer, melanoma, breast cancer and lung cancer.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol High Cholesterol Heart Attack Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Heart Attack- Lifestyle Risks Statins Low Saturated Fat and Low Cholesterol Diet 

Recommended Reading
Low Saturated Fat and Low Cholesterol Diet
To avoid obesity we must consciously control the quantity and the quality of fat that we eat and ......
Quiz on Cancer
Cancer, is the second most leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer is not just one disease but ......
High Blood Cholesterol Levels Linked to Breast Cancer
A new study has found a link between high blood cholesterol levels and breast cancer...
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to avoi...
High Cholesterol
High cholesterol level in blood are a risk for heart disease and stroke. They get deposited in the w...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...
Statins
Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms bu...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use