About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Sleep, Hunger Controlling Hormone Associated With Cancer Growth

by VR Sreeraman on November 16, 2007 at 3:48 PM
Font : A-A+

Sleep, Hunger Controlling Hormone Associated With Cancer Growth

A research carried out by Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has shown that a hormone that controls sleep and hunger also activates a protein, HIF-1 that has been known to induce tumour growth. Dr. Thomas Kodadek, chief of translational research at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study said the new research is among the first to show how HIF-1 operates in healthy tissues rather than in tumours.

"HIF-1 is very big in the cancer community. So we were intrigued to find this important and very basic mechanism that is unrelated to cancer," Dr. Kodadek said. Orexin was already known for its role in sleep and hunger.


In the new study, the research team used a massive gene-screening technique to identify genes that orexin either turned on or inhibited. It was discovered that the activity of a component of HIF called HIF1-alpha was among the most highly activated of any gene in the study. And when orexin stimulated HIF1-alpha, it in turn increased the expression of a variety of genes dedicated to burning sugar to provide energy for the body.

Studies in brain slices of mice with and without orexin receptors support the results. Researchers said that the findings help explain orexin's link to the metabolic system. The body is known to step up its production of orexin when blood sugar gets low. The researchers hypothesized that when a body has low blood sugar and gets hungry, the increase in orexin activates HIF-1 production, revving up metabolism so the body gets the most energy out of the sugar on hand.

Dr. Kodadek said that this action of HIF-1 when stimulated by orexin is different than how it acts in tumours. In tumours, HIF-1 changes cells' metabolism so they can burn sugar for energy without oxygen. This method is inefficient, but allows cells to stay alive.

Orexin, on contrary, forces HIF-1 to switch cells to burn sugar using oxygen, which burns sugar faster but more efficiently. Researchers said that this strategy makes sense in terms of evolution.

"This orexin pathway we found is basically an overdrive function. Even though blood sugar levels are low, you're not only awake, but you're also energetic because of the action of HIF-1. In retrospect, our findings make a lot of sense, but they were surprising at the time," Dr. Kodadek said.

Dr. Kodadek said that not only was this orexin-HIF link unexpected, but it showed an entirely new way HIF-1 operates. He said that study also illustrates a potential complication of anti-cancer therapies that target HIF-1.These findings reveal that anti-HIF-1 chemotherapy could interfere with this essential function.

"If anything, our findings may be a cautionary tale about whether HIF-related mechanisms are going to be appropriate targets for chemotherapy," Dr. Kodadek said.

The study has appeared in the online version of the journal Genes and Development.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

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

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Hypersomnia Cancer Facts Cancer Melatonin Hungry? - But you Just Ate! Why does your Stomach Growl with Hunger Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Fullness Factor, Satiety Index and Glycemic Index for Weight Watchers 

Recommended Reading
Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are the abnormal growth of brain cells that may be benign or metastatic. Brain tumors ....
Thymus Aging Prevented by Hunger Hormone
The results led them to caution blocking of ghrelin as a potential approach for treating ......
Combination Therapy Reduces Tumor Resistance to Radiation
Radiation is used to treat a variety of tumors and the response of tumors to radiation is dependent ...
Tumor Blood Flow can Improve Chemotherapy
A treatment for neuroblastoma that lands a one-two punch works best when the second punch is timed ....
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Fullness Factor, Satiety Index and Glycemic Index for Weight Watchers
Weight loss is a struggle for many individuals. This can be achieved simply by understanding the ful...
Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant
What is dandelion? Dandelion greens are nutrition powerhouses with a wide range of health benefits. ...
Hungry? - But you Just Ate!
Most of us are tempted by good food, mealtime or not. Once in a way is fine but it is dangerous to g...
Hyper means “excessive” and somnia refers to “sleep”, so hypersomnia is excessively long or deep sl...
Melatonin has finally been accepted as effective treatment for insomnia and other sleep disorders. J...
Why does your Stomach Growl with Hunger
A rumbling, growly stomach, hiccups and continuous sneezing are some of the body’s signals which we ...

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