Monday, October 16, 2006
Mountaineers and Metastases
What to mountain climbers and cancer tumors have in common? They have to deal with low levels of oxygen. When healthy cells become hypoxic, they turn on a gene called HIF-1. The protein from this gene encourages the production of enzymes used for glycolysis, and also encourages the growth of capillaries to that cell.
When cancer tumors grow, they need lots of ATP but have few blood vessels. So cancer cells turn on HIF-1 to support their growth. Researchers like David Livingston at the Dana/Farber Cancer Institute are finding that if they can block HIF-1, then the tumor growth slows and the cells far from blood vessels die. Read more about HIF-1 at Wikipedia.
Posted by Adrienne at 7:32 PM