Eat more broccoli, protect us from cancer

In the end we will give the reason to our parents. Yes, broccoli is very good for our health. A study published today in "Science" confirms the good relationship between the usual consumption of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or kale, and
 the decrease in cancer risk. These vegetables, say researchers at the Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (USA), contain a molecule that inactivates a gene that plays a relevant role in a variety of common diseases, such as cancers.

In the study, the researchers, led by Pier Paolo Pandolfi, demonstrate that a therapy targeting this gene, called WWP1, thanks to the ingredient present in broccoli was able to inhibit the growth of cancer in laboratory animals prone to this disease .

"We have found a new important compound that plays a critical role in the development of cancer; it is an enzyme that can be inhibited by a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, "explains Pandolfi. "This pathway emerges not only as a way to achieve control of tumor growth, but also can be an Achilles heel that we can address with future therapeutic options."

We have found a new important compound that plays a critical role in the development of cancer; it is an enzyme that can be inhibited with a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables

A well-known tumor suppressor gene, PTEN, is one of the genes that are mutated, eliminated, regulated or silenced very frequently in human cancers. It is known that certain inherited mutations of PTEN can cause syndromes that increase susceptibility to cancer and some developmental defects.

However, because the complete loss of the gene triggers an irreversible and potent fail-safe mechanism that stops the proliferation of cancer cells, both copies of the gene (humans have two copies of each gene, one from each parent) rare they are affected and the cells continue to proliferate. To do this, the 'smart' tumor cells show lower levels of PTEN,
l
or that has made many researchers think that restoring PTEN activity to normal levels in the cancer environment can trigger suppressive activity
of gene tumors and, finally, stop cancer.

To find out, Pandolfi and his colleagues identified the molecules and compounds that regulate the function and activation of PTEN. By conducting a series of experiments on mice and human cells prone to cancer, the team discovered that the WWP1 gene, which is also known to play a role in the development of cancer, produces an enzyme that inhibits the suppressive activity of PTEN tumors.

The question is whether restoring PTEN activity to normal levels in the cancer environment can trigger the tumor suppressor activity of the gene

So, how to deactivate this PTEN kryptonite? By analyzing the physical form of the enzyme, they identified that a small molecule, called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), an ingredient in broccoli and its relatives, could be the key to quelling the cancer-causing effects of WWP1.

When Pandolfi and his colleagues tested this idea by administering I3C to cancer-prone laboratory animals, they discovered that the natural ingredient in broccoli inactivated WWP1, which freed PTEN brakes.

It would be necessary to eat almost 6 pounds of Brussels sprouts a day (almost 3 kilos), and that are not cooked, to obtain their potential benefit against cancer

But that does not mean that eating broccoli to 'the beast' will protect us from cancer. According to the first author Yu-Ru Lee,
would have to eat almost 6 pounds of Brussels sprouts a day (almost 3 kilos), and that are not cooked, to obtain its potential benefit against cancer

.

That is why the Pandolfi team is looking for other ways to take advantage of this new knowledge. The team plans to continue studying the WWP1 function with the ultimate goal of developing more powerful inhibitors of WWP1.

"The genetic or pharmacological inactivation of WWP1 with CRISPR or I3C technology could restore the PTEN function and further trigger its tumor suppressor activity," says Pandolfi. "These findings pave the way for a tumor suppressor reactivation approach that has long been sought for the treatment of cancer." (tagsToTranslate) brecoli (t) health

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