Boston, MA (October 16, 2002) The use of deguelin, a natural plant extract most commonly used as an insecticide in Africa and South American, inhibits the growth of precancerous and cancerous lung cells, with no toxic effects on normal cells, according to a study presented today at the first annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting convened by the American Association for Cancer Research. The role of deguelin as an inhibitor of Akt activation has clinical implications, especially in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), where constant activation of Akt occurs. Akt, or protein kinase B, is recognized as one of the most important molecules that promotes the survival of tumor cells by playing the critical role of controlling the balance between survival and apoptosis (programmed cell death).
The study investigated the effects of deguelin on cells representing different stages of lung cancer, and characterized the ways in which deguelin works on precancerous and cancerous human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. Deguelin has been isolated from plants such as Mundulea sericea (Leguminosae), which is native to Africa and South America.
"The results of our study provide evidence for the first time that Akt is essential in the growth of precancerous human bronchial epithelial cell line, and that deguelin can be a potential chemopreventive agent against lung cancer," according to Ho-Young Lee, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study, which was conducted by researchers at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Several studies have shown that Akt provides a critical cell survival signal for tumor progression by adding phosphate to the proteins involved in cell cycle regulation and pre-cell death factors. Results of this study found that the activation of Akt is a common feature in the early stages of cancer and that inhibition of Akt might be a potential target for chemoprevention. Deguelin is an optimal agent for this goal, according to the rPage: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Aimee Frank
American Association for Cancer Research
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