Geneva, 12 December (EUROPA PRESS). – A total diabetes drug combined with a high blood pressure drug is able to suppress tumor growth and cause cancer cell death by agap, according to Biozentrum researchers at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
In a follow-up study published in Cell Reports, scientists conclude that the combination of these two drugs blocks a critical step in energy production, which ultimately leads to a shortage of energy that ultimately leads to suicide of cancer cells.
Metformin, a widely used diabetes medicine, not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anticancer effect. However, the commonly used dose in the treatment of diabetes is too low to inhibit the growth of cancer. A previous study of the same study has already shown that the antihypertensive drug sirozigonin increases the anticancer efficacy of metformin.
Cancer cells have high energy requirements due to higher metabolic needs and rapid growth. A limiting factor to meet this demand is the NAD + molecule, which is key to turning nutrients into energy. "In order to keep electricity generating machines, NAD + should be generated continuously from NADH, and it is interesting that both metformin and sirozophophine prevent NAD + recovery, but in two different ways," said the first author of the study, Don Benjamin.
Many tumor cells alter their metabolism to glycolysis, which means they generate energy mainly by degrading glucose in lactic acid. Since the accumulation of this compound leads to blockage of the glycolytic pathway, the cancer cells remove the lactic acid by exiting it from the cell through specific conveyors. "We have now found that sicrozogin effectively blocks the two most important carriers of lactic acid and therefore hinders their export." High concentrations of intracellular lactic acid in turn prevent NADH recycling in NAD +, "Benjamin says.