Biotechnology

Researchers make the discovery of cancer weight loss pathways

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Nearly half of all cancer patients suffer from excessive weight loss due to loss of adipose and skeletal muscle tissue, or cachexia.

This progressive disease not only reduces the quality of life of cancer patients but also poses a serious threat to treatment because it hinders the effective use of drugs, especially in its advanced stages. There are no effective therapies to slow or block this wastage because the driving forces behind the atrophic process are not understood.

However, an article recently published in Nature reveals an important molecular mechanism that can make changes in this process. Research led by Serkan Kır of Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, shows how activation of EDA2R signaling promotes skeletal muscle atrophy and how deletion of EDA2R, or the enzyme NIK, can be an effective means of protecting the organism from muscle loss. . Researchers say they have identified a new molecular target for anti-cachexia therapy.

The Kır laboratory in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Koç University uses molecular biology approaches, primary cell culture techniques, mouse tumor models and human tissue samples to dissect the molecular mechanisms behind tumor signaling to adipose tissue and muscle.

Prevents muscle loss

Researchers say that targeting this pathway could be a potential solution in preventing muscle loss. The fact that the activity of components of these molecular pathways can be altered by drug use suggests a strong potential for treatment.

The research team believes that this newly discovered molecular pathway may also play a role in complications that lead to muscle loss beyond cachexia. Treatments for the disease muscular dystrophy and age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) could also benefit from the findings.

In future studies, the team plans to explore the role of relevant protein targets in other muscle loss disorders.

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