A group of researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Center in Houston has discovered an enzyme that is found to assist in the growth of brain tumors. This finding can possibly be a big help to scientists trying to come up with new potential tumor treatment approaches. The observation here was that a specific enzyme - acetyl CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) is responsible for providing tumors with a route to survive. The ACSS2 allows production of cellular structures which aid tumor development.
The head researcher, Zhimin Lu, Ph.D., (professor of neuro-oncology) and his colleagues used a gene editing tool called CRISPR to see what ACSS2 does in histone acetylation by generating acetyl CoA from acetate inside the nucleus of the cell. Just to clarify, "histones," are proteins that act as "spools" for DNA to wind around and are vital for gene regulation. Histone modification using a metabolic enzyme was found to be significant for cells to remain stable and for the development of tumors.
In the words of Dr. Lu, "These findings elucidate an instrumental interplay between reprogramming of metabolism and gene expression in cancer cells. Inhibition of both ACSS2's nuclear function and the metabolic pathway, known as glycolysis, which converts glucose to tumor-feeding energy, appears to be an efficient approach for cancer treatment."
This research and the enzyme discovery provides new information regarding nuclear translocation. It is very important and an exciting finding because it shows how ACSS2 can potentially be a player in new therapeutic approaches for treating cancer. With each new discovery, we are getting closer to finding the cure for cancer, making every single finding another step in the right direction!