Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects Dopaminergic neurons, which are nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter...
Researchers have discovered how a “protein master regulator” called mTOR, is involved in helping abnormal cells become cancer cells.
The protein known as mTOR helps regulate human protein synthesis. This means that the mTOR protein helps normal cells sense nutrients, control cell growth and control metabolism. It helps our cells respond to beneficial and not so beneficial environments and nutrients. As we live and breathe under ordinary conditions, mTOR acts as a master regulator of genes that entice cells to grow and divide. If someone goes on a starvation diet, mTOR will shut down a lot of the metabolism to conserve energy.
Davide Ruggero, PhD, is an associate professor of urology and a member of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative at UCSF. He stated, “ We are now discovering that during tumor formation mTOR leads to metastasis by altering the synthesis of a specific group of proteins that make the cancer cells move and invade normal organs.”
After reading this new research finding, I was curious about mTOR and what it had to do with glycolysis. Many cancer cells rely on glycolysis, not oxidative phosphorylation for energy. Glycolysis occurs in virtually all cells. The glycolysis process converts a molecule of glucose, (sugar), into two molecules of pyruvic acid. Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis, and in turn may be converted to lactate or acetyl CoA or to an ethanol as in yeasts. Yes, Im sure this is confusing. When they were teaching this in medical school, I was wondering if I would ever use this jargon. I guess it really does come in handy. I have found a video that may be helpful for those who want to learn more about glycolysis.
Pyruvic acid is reduced to form a molecule of carbon dioxide and one of ethanol. For example, this accounts for the bubbles and alcohol found in beer and champagne. Well enough of that.
It was found that activated mTOR increases production of the enzymes needed for glycolysis and controls the uptake of glucose (sugar) and other nutrients. Increased glucose uptake and metabolism helps the needs for mTOR-driven cell growth and division.
In simpler words, we all know that cancer loves sugar. Thats essentially how a PET scan works. The radioactive dye or isotope is put in a dextrose solution which is sugar based. Once the solution reaches the body’s system, the dextrose (sugar) molecules acts as a carrier to help get the radioactive dye within the tumor cells.Therefore, visualization of the cancer or tumor within the body is located.
There is scientific evidence that sugar is detrimental to cancer patients. I feel that this new finding about the mTOR just helps validate it even more.