This Sugar Kills Honeybees – It Could Also Be Our Secret Weapon Against Cancer

New analysis has uncovered extra concerning the anti-cancer properties of mannose, a sugar recognized to inhibit most cancers cell progress. This examine suggests mannose might improve most cancers remedy with out negative effects.

A brand new examine helps clarify the anti-cancer properties of mannose sugar.

A examine reveals new insights about mannose, a sugar with anti-cancer properties. The analysis hyperlinks the “honeybee syndrome” noticed in honeybees with mannose’s capacity to sluggish most cancers cell replication and improve chemotherapy’s effectiveness.

New Research on Mannose and Its Anti-Cancer Properties

New analysis performed by Sanford Burnham Prebys and the Osaka International Cancer Institute has revealed new insights into the anti-cancer properties of mannose. Mannose is an important sugar concerned in a number of physiological processes within the human body, and it’s recognized to inhibit the expansion of most cancers cells. The examine, revealed right now (July 18) within the journal eLife, means that mannose might act as a precious adjunctive remedy for most cancers.

“This sugar could give cancer an extra punch alongside other treatments,” says examine co-author Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., director of the Human Genetics Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys. “And because mannose is found throughout the body naturally, it could improve cancer treatment without any undesirable side effects.”

Hudson Freeze

Hudson Freeze, Ph.D. Credit: Sanford Burnham Prebys

Role of Mannose in Glycosylation

Mannose is a sort of sugar that the body attaches to proteins. This course of helps stabilize their construction and facilitates their interplay with different molecules. This course of, referred to as glycosylation, is important for all times, and any malfunctions in glycosylation are linked with uncommon, however usually critical life-threatening, human ailments.

“Until now, the most promising therapeutic use for mannose was to treat congenital disorders of glycosylation, diseases that can cause a wide range of severe symptoms throughout the body,” says Freeze. “But we believe that there may be ways to leverage mannose against cancer and other diseases as well.”

Mannose, Honeybees, and Cancer

Although it has already been established that mannose inhibits the expansion of a number of varieties of most cancers within the laboratory, the underlying mechanism stays elusive. To handle this, the analysis crew studied an uncommon property of mannose noticed in an unlikely topic: honeybees.

“It’s been known for more than a century that mannose is lethal to honeybees because they can’t process it like humans do—it’s known as ‘honeybee syndrome,’” says Freeze. “We wanted to see if there is any relationship between honeybee syndrome and the anti-cancer properties of mannose, which could lead to an entirely new approach to combat cancer.”

Experimental Findings and Future Implications

The analysis crew, utilizing genetically engineered human most cancers cells from fibrosarcoma (a uncommon most cancers affecting connective tissue), managed to duplicate honeybee syndrome. They discovered that within the absence of the enzyme essential to metabolize mannose, cells replicate slowly and turn into considerably extra inclined to chemotherapy.

“We discovered that triggering honeybee syndrome in these most cancers cells made them unable to synthesize the building blocks of DNA and replicate usually,” says Freeze. “This helps explain the anti-cancer effects of mannose that have we’ve observed in the lab.”

While exploiting honeybee syndrome might doubtlessly function a promising auxiliary most cancers remedy, the researchers warn that for the reason that impact depends on essential metabolic processes, extra analysis is required to find out which varieties of most cancers could be most conscious of mannose.

The Potential of Glycosylating Sugars for Cancer Treatment

“If we can find cancers that have a low activity of the enzyme that processes mannose, treating them with mannose could give just enough of a nudge to make chemotherapy more effective,” says Freeze. “Many people assume that you always discover treatments in response to the disease, but sometimes you find biology that could be useful for treatment and then have to find the disease to match it.”

Meanwhile, the examine highlights the broader potential of sugars concerned in glycosylation for most cancers remedy, an space of analysis nonetheless in its nascent phases.

“The glycobiology of sugar metabolism within cancer cells is still an unexplored frontier, and it could be an untapped treasure trove of potential treatments just waiting to be discovered,” provides Freeze.

Reference: “Metabolic clogging of mannose triggers dNTP loss and genomic instability in human cancer cells” by Yoichiro Harada, Yu Mizote, Takehiro Suzuki, Akiyoshi Hirayama, Satsuki Ikeda, Mikako Nishida, Toru Hiratsuka, Ayaka Ueda, Yusuke Imagawa, Kento Maeda, Yuki Ohkawa, Junko Murai, Hudson H Freeze, Eiji Miyoshi, Shigeki Higashiyama, Heiichiro Udono, Naoshi Dohmae, Hideaki Tahara and Naoyuki Taniguchi, 18 July 2023, eLife.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.83870

Additional authors on the examine embody Yoichiro Harada, Yu Mizote, Toru Hiratsuka, Yusuke Imagawa, Kento Maeda, Yuki Ohkawa, Shigeki Higashiyama, Hideaki Tahara and Naoyuki Taniguchi, Osaka International Cancer Institute; Takehiro Suzuki and Naoshi Dohmae, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science; Akiyoshi Hirayama, Satsuki Ikeda and Junko Murai, Keio University; Mikako Nishida and Heiichiro Udono, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Ayaka Ueda and Eiji Miyoshi, Osaka University.

The examine was supported by the Takeda Science Foundation, JSPS KAKENHI (JP23Okay06645), the Rocket Fund, and the National Institutes of Health (R01DK99551).

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