May 30, 2024

Medical Trend

Medical News and Medical Resources

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells!

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells!



 

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells! New study in Nature reveals key nutrients to fight cancer. 

 

The development of immunotherapy has brought a huge leap forward in cancer treatment. The basic idea is to fight tumors by mobilizing the power of the patient’s own immune system.

For example, immune checkpoint blockade therapy removes the inhibition of immune cells by the tumor microenvironment by blocking the “brake” signal that cancer cells send to immune cells.

However, immune checkpoint blockade therapy can only benefit some patients so far, so many researchers are looking for new ways to enhance the anticancer activity of immunotherapy.

 

A few days ago, researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital published a new study in the journal Nature, revealing a key nutrient that cancer cells compete with immune cells—glutamine.

The findings suggest that delivering glutamine directly to tumors helps the immune system boost its anti-cancer activity, significantly curbing tumor growth when combined with immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

 

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells!

 

 

In order to survive, tumors can be described as very greedy in extracting nutrients. In the tumor microenvironment, cancer cells and immune cells compete for nutrients.

Glutamine is one such key nutrient in the microenvironment. When glutamine is unfortunately monopolized by cancer cells, a type of immune cell called dendritic cells will be “starved” .

As highly efficient antigen-presenting cells, dendritic cells are important assistants in activating anti-cancer T cells. When dendritic cells lack glutamine, the anti-tumor immune function will be greatly reduced.

 

T cells have direct cancer cell killing activity and are often regarded as the protagonists in tumor immunotherapy. However, they cannot fight cancer cells alone, and in this new study, the scientists highlighted the role of T-cell-activating dendritic cells in the tumor microenvironment.

 

Professor Chi Hongbo made an easy-to-understand analogy in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s press release : ” We can think of dendritic cells as drivers and T cells as cars. Without drivers, cars cannot move. Plus, nutrients like glutamine are the equivalent of a driver’s license .”

 

In mice with tumors, the researchers observed that tumor growth was inhibited after the researchers supplemented intratumoral glutamine by direct injection. Not only that, glutamine supplementation can also improve the effect of immune checkpoint inhibitors or adoptive T cell therapy.

 

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells!

▲ Intratumoral supplementation of glutamine can promote anti-tumor immunity mediated by cDC1 (Source: Reference [1])

 

In addition, the researchers identified a molecular pathway that could serve as a potential drug target to achieve the effect of glutamine supplementation on dendritic cells.

They found that immune cells lacking two proteins, FLCN and SLC38A2, required for dendritic cells to sense and uptake glutamine , were unable to effectively activate T cells in the presence of glutamine supplementation . These results suggest that they may be used as drug targets to improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy.

 

“In addition to enhancing therapeutic intervention, we also provide advanced concepts by showing how nutrients mediate communication between cells, which is an understudied concept in the field of immunometabolic.” Professor Chi Hongbo pointed out.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

[1] Chuansheng Guo et al., (2023) SLC38A2 and glutamine signaling in cDC1s dictate anti-tumour immunity. Nature Doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06299-8

[2] Immune and tumor cell “tug-of-war” controls anti-cancer activity. Retrieved July 6, 2023 from https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/994641

Supplementing this amino acid can allow immune cells to defeat cancer cells!

(source:internet, reference only)


Disclaimer of medicaltrend.org


Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.