By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher
SHANGHAI, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Although the battle against cancer has been fought by the medical and scientific community with much vigor, almost every day it brings about a new conundrum. Recent research has shown that arginine plays an important role during the life cycle and development of cancer cells. This is good news when it comes to its potential therapeutic applications–as detailed in a recent review article, by a team of scientists from China, published in Chinese Medical Journal.
The research group has collated studies on the role of arginine metabolism in pancreatic cancer and potential therapeutic approaches in a comprehensive review. Dr. Lei Yu, the corresponding author, said, In this review, we discuss arginine metabolism, its effects on pancreatic ductal carcinoma cells, and possible therapeutic approaches. We also discuss the role that arginine metabolism plays in immunotherapy for cancer and arginine-deprivation therapy. “
The review focusses on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), an extremely malignant form of pancreatic cancer with a low survival rate. PDAC cells employ a unique strategy known as “metabolic programming,” which allows the cancer to grow unchecked. The team has identified a key contributor to this strategy: arginine.
PDAC cells have altered arginine metabolism which affects many important signaling pathways. Additionally, PDAC cells have altered arginine metabolism, which results in a variety of metabolites that aid cell multiplication, growth, self-eating or autophagy, cell deaths, metastasis (spread across other organs), and multiplication.
However, PDAC cells lose the ability to synthesise arginine on their own due to loss of the enzyme “argininosuccinate synthetase 1.” This situation can be used to your advantage – starving PDAC cells of their ability to synthesize arginine can prevent unchecked cancer. This therapeutic strategy has been proven effective in clinical trials. Alternately, targeting arginase 1, which converts arginine into ornithine, can be used to suppress the growth of cancer cells. This strategy can be used in immunotherapy, too, due to its importance in immune responses.
Drug resistance, re-expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 enzyme and expression of “anti-drug” antibodies can however, act as speed bumps in the aforementioned therapies. Researchers propose that arginine deprivation drugs be used in combination with other drugs to overcome this obstacle. Dr. You concludes with ” We believe that arginine-deprivation therapy combined with other reagents therapies such as gemcitabine and immunotherapy can still be a viable method to defeat cancer. However, this requires more clinic and basic research. “
The review indeed serves as a useful roadmap for future advancements in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Titles of original papers: Arginine metabolism: a potential target in pancreatic cancer therapy
Journal: Chinese Medical Journal
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/CM9. 0000000000001216
Your Press Release source: Chinese Medical Journal https://journals.lww.com/cmj/pages/default.aspx
SOURCE Chinese Medical Journal
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