3D tumors that break down within a few days thanks to the action of a well-known Omega-3 (DHA, found mainly in fish)– this is the remarkable discovery by University of Louvain. Starving for fatty acids, tumor cells in acidosis gorge themselves on DHA however are not able to keep it properly and actually poison themselves. The result? They die. Credit: Copyright UCLouvain
So-called “excellent fats” are essential for human health and much demanded by those who attempt to consume healthily. Among the Omega-3 fats, DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is crucial to brain function, vision and the regulation of inflammatory phenomena.
In addition to these virtues, DHA is also connected with a decrease in the occurrence of cancer. How it works is the topic of a significant discovery by a multidisciplinary group of University of Louvain (UCLouvain) researchers, who have actually simply clarified the biochemical system that enables DHA and other related fatty acids to slow the development of tumors. This is a major advance that has just recently been published in the prominent journal Cell Metabolism.
Secret to the discovery: interdisciplinarity
In 2016, Olivier Ferons UCLouvain group, which specializes in oncology, found that cells in an acidic microenvironment (acidosis) within growths change glucose with lipids as an energy source in order to increase. In cooperation with UCLouvains Cyril Corbet, Prof. Feron demonstrated in 2020 that these exact same cells are the most aggressive and get the ability to leave the initial growth to produce metastases. Yvan Larondelle, a professor in the UCLouvain Faculty of Bioengineering, whose team is developing enhanced dietary lipid sources, proposed to Prof. Feron that they integrate their skills in a research project, led by PhD prospect Emeline Dierge, to examine the behavior of growth cells in the presence of various fatty acids.
3D tumors that disintegrate within a few days thanks to the action of a popular Omega-3 (DHA, found primarily in fish)– this is the remarkable discovery by University of Louvain. Starving for fatty acids, growth cells in acidosis canyon themselves on DHA however are unable to store it properly and actually poison themselves. The outcome? They die. Credit: Copyright UCLouvain
Thanks to the assistance of the Fondation Louvain, the Belgian Cancer Foundation and the Télévie telethon, the group quickly recognized that these acidotic tumor cells responded in diametrically opposite ways depending on the fatty acid they were taking in. “We soon discovered that particular fatty acids stimulated the growth cells while others eliminated them,” the researchers described.
A deadly overload
The poison acts on tumor cells by means of a phenomenon called ferroptosis, a type of cell death linked to the peroxidation of particular fatty acids. In the existence of a big quantity of DHA, the tumor cell is overwhelmed and can not keep the DHA, which leads and oxidizes to cell death.
For their research study, UCLouvain scientists utilized a 3D growth cell culture system, called spheroids. The result: growth development was significantly slowed compared to that in mice on a conventional diet plan.
This UCLouvain research study reveals the value of DHA in combating cancer. “For an adult,” the UCLouvain scientists specified, “its advised to consume at least 250 mg of DHA daily. However studies show that our diet plan offers typically just 50 to 100 mg daily. This is well below the minimum recommended intake.”
Reference: 11 June 2021, Cell Metabolism.DOI: 10.1016/ j.cmet.2021.05.016.
Hungry for fatty acids, tumor cells in acidosis gorge themselves on DHA but are not able to save it properly and actually toxin themselves. Starving for fatty acids, tumor cells in acidosis gorge themselves on DHA but are not able to keep it properly and literally poison themselves. The toxin acts on tumor cells by means of a phenomenon called ferroptosis, a type of cell death connected to the peroxidation of certain fatty acids. Typically, in the acidic compartment within growths, cells save these fatty acids in lipid beads, a kind of bundle in which fatty acids are safeguarded from oxidation. In the presence of a big quantity of DHA, the tumor cell is overwhelmed and can not save the DHA, which oxidizes and leads to cell death.