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Scientists Find Mechanism That Drives Cancerous Cell Growth

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Published on : Aug 05, 2019

A team of scientists has discovered the mechanism of energy production of the cancerous cells. The team discovered how development of cancerous cells can drive growth of the nucleus and lead to rapid formation of tumors. The research team consists of scientists from Japan’s Keio and Hiroshima Universities and from the University of Cincinnati.

‘Natural Cell Biology’ journal published these findings, recently. The research team claims that these findings show the way forward for development of new treatment methods for cancer. Further, these new treatments will help cut down growth of tumors stopping energy supply to the nucleus of such cells.

What Leads to Growth of Nucleolus?

Atsuo Sasaki, believes that controlling energy supply to cancerous nucleus can be the game-changer for the development of new cancer treatments. Further, it is the cancerous nucleus that ravages the patient’s health and thus it is important to have control over it. 

The nucleolus, situated close to the center of the nucleus, secretes ribosomes. It was discovered around 100 years ago that the cancerous cells have bigger or enlarged nucleoli. The research studies since then have shown that the enlargement of nucleus results in a considerable increase in the secretion of ribosomes. As a result, ihis ultimately leads to protein synthesis that produces huge numbers of cancerous cells. However, it has been a mystery how the nucleolus is able to produce such large amounts of ribosomes.

In this new research, the team found elevated levels of IMPDH in cancer cells. These elevated IMPDH levels helped in accelerating the production of GTP and finally resulted in the enlargement of the nucleolus. That was the big step towards resolving the mystery of nucleolus growth.