FEB 04, 2020 11:12 AM PST

The role of SRR in colorectal cancer

Researchers from Osaka University have recently discovered a new function of the multifunctional enzyme entitled serine racemase (SRR). According to the team’s findings, SRR plays a previously unknown role in cancer metabolism. This finding could lead the way to future anti-cancer treatments that target the enzyme in metabolic pathways.

SRR is already well known to convert L-serine into pyruvate, among other different reactions. And, interestingly, "Pyruvate is known to have an important role in cancer metabolism," explains lead author of the study Dr. Kenji Ohshima. "However, no one had previously studied how pyruvate produced by SRR is involved in cancer metabolism." This got Dr. Ohshima and the other researchers thinking.

In their study, they found that there is a higher presence of SRR in colorectal cancer cells and that cancer cells with more SRR divide faster than other cells. "This was a really exciting discovery because it showed that SRR is involved in colorectal cancer cell proliferation,” elaborates Dr. Ohshima. “When we then looked more closely at the pathway as a whole, we found that pyruvate levels were decreased in a slow-growing SRR mutant colorectal cancer cell line, suggesting that the pyruvate produced by SRR enhances the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells. This result confirmed that the metabolic pathway is integral to the progression of colorectal cancer."

The results from their study were published last month in Nature Metabolism.

Included in the publication were the findings that it was also possible to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer by disrupting SRR in the metabolic pathway. This simultaneously demonstrated increased efficacy of drugs used to treat cancer and a subsequent reduction in tumors. While this study was conducted in mice models, the researchers are hopeful that their investigations will prove significant for humans.

"There is still work to be done to confirm that our results translate into human cancer systems," explains the senior author of the study Dr. Eiichi Morii. "However, based on these preliminary results, we expect that future strategies targeting SRR will provide effective new therapies for the treatment of colorectal cancer."

Sources: Nature Metabolism, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 17, 2020
Cancer
Tackling the Problem of Toxicity in Breast Cancer Therapy
JUL 17, 2020
Tackling the Problem of Toxicity in Breast Cancer Therapy
Chemotherapy has been one of the primary methods of cancer treatment for decades. Usually, a doctor applies a chemothera ...
JUL 15, 2020
Immunology
Immune Memory to Thwart Recurring Cancer
JUL 15, 2020
Immune Memory to Thwart Recurring Cancer
Preventing cancer from returning in the body is an integral part of any anti-cancer treatment plan. New discoveries from ...
JUL 23, 2020
Immunology
Cancer Therapy Reduces Lung Scarring
JUL 23, 2020
Cancer Therapy Reduces Lung Scarring
Scientists at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine have discovered a striking parallel ...
JUL 22, 2020
Cancer
Immunotherapy: the risk for cancer patients with COVID-19
JUL 22, 2020
Immunotherapy: the risk for cancer patients with COVID-19
Research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer earlier this wee ...
AUG 21, 2020
Cancer
Firefighters risk greater carcinogenic exposure than previously thought
AUG 21, 2020
Firefighters risk greater carcinogenic exposure than previously thought
New research published in the journal Environment International suggests that firefighters may be more exposed to c ...
SEP 02, 2020
Cancer
Does Adjuvant Chemotherapy Really Help in a Rare Signet-ring Cell Carcinoma
SEP 02, 2020
Does Adjuvant Chemotherapy Really Help in a Rare Signet-ring Cell Carcinoma
For many rare diseases, there is a lack of a “standard” treatment options. This is more prevalent in diverse ...
Loading Comments...