Cholesterol-lowering drug kills melanoma cells – if messenger substance is present
In laboratory tests, statins (cholesterol-lowering agents) trigger a suicide programme in melanoma cells – however, it is not yet known why this does not lead to any clinically detectable reduction in the melanoma frequency in humans. Scientists working on a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF have now discovered a link that advances the understanding of the anti-tumour effect of cholesterol-lowering agents considerably.
The team led by Martin Hohenegger from the Institute for Pharmacology and Christoph Minichsdorfer from the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Medical University of Vienna succeeded in showing that the messenger substance IL-6 is a necessary prerequisite for triggering the suicide programme by statins. The group recently published an article about this first-time observation in the journal "Melanoma Research".
The starting point for Hohenegger's research was the idea that two phenomena observed in melanoma cells could be linked. Hohenegger explains: "Comparisons carried out by different studies showed that melanoma cells have very different sensitivities to the triggering of the suicide programme by statins. We did not know why this is the case. The other phenomenon was, that one already knew that the cellular messenger substance IL-6 inhibits the growth of early-phase melanoma cells but not that of more developed melanoma cells. So we asked ourselves whether these two apparently independent phenomena might in fact be linked."
The FWF-funded research group therefore analysed the extent to which the different sensitivities for the triggering of a cellular suicide programme by statins could be related to the effect of IL-6. "We were able to show that the statin Simvastatin did not immediately trigger a cellular suicide programme in early-phase melanoma cells – it only activated this programme when we made additional IL-6 available. This is a good indicator that statins need the messenger substance IL-6 to trigger this anti-tumour effect."
Inhibition through antibody-binding
The group gathered further proof of the link in an antibody experiment. To this end, they used the fact that the antibody Tocilizumab binds to cellular receptors for IL-6 and suppresses the inflammatory effect of the messenger substance. This effect has been successfully exploited in the treatment of advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis since 2014. "We were able to show that the anti-tumour effect of Simvastatin in metastasising melanoma cells was eliminated by the simultaneous blocking of the IL-6 receptor by the antibody Tocilizumab. This is a further indicator that the inhibiting effect of statins on tumour growth only works efficiently in conjunction with that of IL-6."
The scientists are still completely in the dark regarding the details of the interaction between IL-6 and statins at molecular level. However, for early-phase melanoma cells, initial indicators point to the involvement of the proteins Bcl-XL and Bcl-2. These usually inhibit the melanoma's suicide programme and are reduced by IL-6. As opposed to this, in metastasising cells, statins appear to have little or no regulatory effect on the two proteins.
Hohenegger and his team gained numerous insights of potentially significant clinical relevance for the treatment of both melanoma and rheumatoid arthritis, in which antibodies like Tocilizumab are used. The team also managed to show that the anti-tumour effect of statins observed in melanoma cells also arises in other tumour types, for example neuroblastoma. This is a further indication of the importance of their findings.
FWF Austrian Science Fund
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria's central funding organization for basic research.
The purpose of the FWF is to support the ongoing development of Austrian science and basic research at a high international level. In this way, the FWF makes a significant contribution to cultural development, to the advancement of our knowledge-based society, and thus to the creation of value and wealth in Austria.
Prof. Martin Hohenegger
Medical University of Vienna
Institut für Pharmakologie
Währinger Straße 13A
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / 1 / 40160 - 31358
Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Haus der Forschung
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / 1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
Copy Editing & Distribution:
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Education
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / 1 / 505 70 44
This release was published on openPR.
Permanent link to this press release:
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.
You can edit or delete your press release Cholesterol-lowering drug kills melanoma cells – if messenger substance is present here
News-ID: 343536 • Views: 695
More Releases from FWF - Austrian Science Fund
While fear and aggression tend to curb our appetite, sadness and frustration seem to stimulate it. A project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF looks into the connections between mood and overeating in healthy and bulimic individuals. We know how it feels to look forward to our favourite dish; we are familiar with the notions of comfort food and feeling butterflies in the stomach instead of hunger. In eating
Neurosciences: a stress test for men and women
Whilst it is true that women and men respond differently to stress, current neuroscientific research only partially confirms traditional gender stereotypes. Other factors heavily contribute to the stress response such as self-esteem, hormones and stress regulation, as has been demonstrated by a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. How people react to stress is subjective. Gender also plays a fundamental role. Scientific studies have shown that the stress
Researching the grammar of sign language
Like spoken language, sign language has a complex and differentiated structure. One just has to be able to discern and interpret it. With the support of the Austrian Science Fund FWF, a research team from Klagenfurt is working on the elements of a grammar of sign language. It is language that distinguishes Homo sapiens from animals. A complex system in which smaller units combine into larger units, into sentences, into statements.
Using mathematics to hunt for computer errors
Improving the security of computer software and hardware requires mathematical analytic methods. Thanks to research by a team of computer scientists led by Krishnendu Chatterjee in a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, these methods will work significantly faster in the future. Security gap in application discovered, update urgently recommended. Alerts like that can confront us every week. Often, a comprehensive update that addresses teething troubles is already
More Releases for Austria
Austria Agriculture Market | Austria Agriculture Industry | Austria Agriculture …
The share of Austria agriculture within the Austrian economy declined steady afterward World War II, agriculture continues to represent a very important part of the economy attributable to its social and political significance. The Chamber of Agriculture rests on an equal level with the chambers of commerce and labour, though its members manufactures solely a fraction of the GDP that industrial and sale able labours produce. Though little, the agricultural sector is
Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband 2018-2023 Austria Market Survey Industry Key Play …
WiseGuyReports.com "Austria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses" report has been added to its Research Database. Scope of the Report: Austria's telcos looking forward to major spectrum auctions for 5G. Austria's telecom market is dominated by the incumbent Telekom Austria and the cableco UPC Austria, though there has been greater competitive pressure in the fixed-line broadband and mobile sectors in recent years. In common with operators elsewhere in Europe,
Austria Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Market Professional Survey with Industry …
WiseGuyReports.com “Austria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses” report has been added to its Research Database. Scope of the Report: Austria’s telcos looking forward to major spectrum auctions for 5G. Austria’s telecom market is dominated by the incumbent Telekom Austria and the cableco UPC Austria, though there has been greater competitive pressure in the fixed-line broadband and mobile sectors in recent years. In common with operators elsewhere in Europe,
Agrochemicals Market in Austria
ReportsWorldwide has announced the addition of a new report title Austria: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021) to its growing collection of premium market research reports. The report “Austria: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021)” provides market intelligence on the different market segments, based on type, active ingredient, formulation, crop, and pest. Market size and forecast (2016-2021) has been provided in terms of both, value (000 USD) and volume (000 KG) in the report. A
Nazi psychology in Austria
The history of academic psychology after the "Anschluss", the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, and its role as a discipline used in National Socialist policies is being examined systematically for the first time in a research project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. "It is a sad fact”, says psychologist Gerhard Benetka from the Sigmund Freud University Vienna "that applied psychology flourished during the National Socialist era
Creative Austria meets creative Russia
Euroforum: communicatin ready for the next lap Vienna. On 22nd of October 2009 the advertising association Vienna invites again to the annual Euroforum: communication event, platform for European communication, guaranteeing an interesting mix of “connecting businesses and communications”. The Event takes place in Studio 44, Vienna. Focus point Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sotschi) The main goal of the Euroforum is to promote and establish business relations and synergies between