Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Fly growth mimics cancer cells.
A study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how the extreme growth experienced by fruit flies in their earliest stage of life shares biochemical similarities with the growth of cancer cells. Scientists who study a molecule known to play a role in certain types of cancers and neurodegenerative disorders have a powerful new tool to study this compound due to research conducted at Indiana University,they found that the same molecule implicated in human cancers is also produced by fruit flies during their larval stage. This discovery is important because it provides the first animal model to understand how these molecules function in healthy cells, if they can understand the function of this molecule in normal cells, then can better understand how it causes human disease and subsequently proffer a solution. The study is the first to find that fruit flies produce L-2-hydroxyglutarate, or L-2HG, a molecule commonly regarded as an "oncometabolite," which can promote tumor formation and growth.