Glycolysis Word Search

Glycolysis Word Search

so you guys are encouraged to save this picture, find the words and upload the completed word search in a comment 😀
ppphhhh who am i kidding? ain’t nobody got time for dat….. :/ lol but if you do feel free 😀


Second Journal Review _ Cancer, Glycolysis and Pyruvate dehydrogenase

Sutendra, G., and E. Michelakis. “Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase as a novel theraputic target in oncology.” Frontiers in Oncology, March 2013.


So i found this concise article that taught me a lot about cancer that i didn’t know and it’s stuff that i can now understand because of BioChem and what we covered  on glycolysis, TCA and TEC!!


Cancer is most commonly detected by positron-emmision tomography (PET) scanning, this detects the uptake of glucose by cells because it was discovered that cancer cells have a much higher uptake of glucose than non cancer cells. But why?


Well cancer cells have a different metabolism than normal cells, instead of using both glycolysis and mitochondrion glucose oxidation (GO) cancer cells switch to relying on glycolysis only… at first this was thought to be a result of conditions created as a result of them being cancer cells e.g. hypoxia (which is a lack of oxygen in cells and tissues) but recent studies showed that these conditions occurred in cells not under hypoxic conditions and this change in metabolism was shown to be a mechanism for the cancer development rather than a symptom of the cancer.


So now using this knowledge investigations were done to understand why cancer cells adopt this alternative metabolic phenotype and how this information could be used to selectively treat cancer.


This switch may be caused by the activation of HIF which is a transcription factor that regulates many of the enzymes in glycolysis, the key one for the study being pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) as it is activated in several different types of cancers, PDK inhibits the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) enzyme complex , which we know is responsible for the link reaction and converting pyruvate into AcetylCoA so that it can enter the mitochondria, because PDK inhibits PDH it also prevents the cell from using glycolysis along side mitochondrion GO and instead makes it rely solely on glycolysis.


Cancer cells are generally resistant to apoptosis ( cell death) because  of this metabolic switch. Proper functioning mitochondria are what regulate the pathway that triggers apoptosis, by relying solely on glycolysis, mitochondria begin to function improperly and apoptosis is suppressed in cancer cells. In the glycosidic environment within the cell changes to the membrane protein of the mitochondria occur on one such channel allows for negatively charged ions to leave, due to the changes that occur these anions can no longer leave and long story short the membrane potential of the mitochondrial membrane is altered in such a way that inhibits apoptisis, this is what allows cancer cells to proliferate at such a high rate.


Ok so now we have an idea of how cancer cells do their do now we can begin to think about how we can reverse this process so that the cell will return to a normal metabolism allowing apoptosis to occur.


For this to happen we would have to find a way to allow pyruvate to once again enter the mitochondria and allow glucose oxidation to occur this in turn will mean that the membrane potential will return to normal thresholds and as a result the mechanism to trigger apoptosis will be functional which is what the molecule dichloroacetate (DCA) does 😀


It activates PDH and thus allows for pyruvate to once again enter the mitochondria and as a result GO is able to occur in conjunction with glycolysis i keep stressing this because it can’t be one or the other it has to be both glycolysis and GO in the mitochondria occurring side by side to ensure that the apoptosis mechanism is functional…


DCA is super awesome, cause it works on cancer cells and has no effect on non- cancer cells, thus it is selective which is a big deal because most cancer treatments aren’t selective and the ones that are don’t work all that efficiently so this is a big step forward for cancer treatments.


Both in vitro and in vivo trials were conducted using DCA and results showed and improvement in patients and a decrease in the proliferation of tumours *thumbs up for science*


Trials showed that post-DCA treatment tissues had decreased expression of factors such as HIF1a leading to decreases in tumour size and vascularity illustrated in the two images below :

tumor HIF


Trials also found through treatment with DCA that other metabolic pathways could be used to target cancer cells e.g. boxidation of fatty acid pathway which this pathway is inhibited it naturally triggers the promotion and expression of PDH which increases GO levels in the mitochondria ….


A lot of research is still being done but steps are being made to fight cancer and no just small steps big ones to J


As always thanks for reading 😉

Article Review 1 The Skin

So hello bloggers 😀 we are sadly coming to the end :/ and so it’s time to kick it up a notch and put out my two reviews ‘-_-…

Hänel, Kai H., Christian Cornelissen, Bernhard Lüscher, and Jens Malte Baron. “Cytokines and the Skin Barrier.” INternational Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2013: 6720-6745.

This first one has to do with the skin and largely the proteins and enzymes involved in the formation process as well as how fluctuations in these molecules may prevent or cause skin diseases. The two major types of skin diseases considered were atopic dermatitis (AD for short ;)) and psoriasis.

The paper began by outlining the entire process that epithelial stem cells go through to become corneocytes, the cells that make up our skin. The skin has several layers and each layer has a specific type of cell associated with it, the overall process is cooperative and involves many different pathways and regulatory enzymes to ensure that the differentiation process occurs properly so that a proper skin barrier is formed.

The three major defence roles of the skin are outlined as a barrier to:

1.Pathogens & mechanical damage

2.Water loss

3.Microbes and bacteria because of antimicrobial activity

The skin is constantly being renewed and this process of “desquamation” is also highly regulated so as to ensure that the skin barrier is present at all times.

This paper specifically looked at the connection between protein molecules called cytokines and all the processes associated with skin formation. Cytokines are signal molecules as they can affect how cells function as well as the communication between cells, they are classified based on their 3D shapes and their receptors. Overall there are 6 classifications of cytokines and the effects of 5 of those six were studied.

1)      Interleukin type 1 receptors

2)      Interleukin type 2 receptors

3)      The immunoglobulins

4)      Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor (TNFR)

5)      The IL-17 family

The main methods of investigation involved administering the various cytokines to mice and then conducting “tape stripping” which is exactly what it sounds like – applying a form of adhesive tape to the skin and pulling it off, skin cells come away and these can be studied after being placed on slides etc.. Also both 3D and 2D cultures were used to examine the effects of the cytokines on the different layers and processes involved in the skin barrier formation.

Because you will probably not read it and I certainly don’t want to write it all I will just pull out some of the findings from the study particularly the ones that I found interesting in the hopes that they too will seem interesting to you as well.

IL-6 (belonging to the interleukin type 1 receptors) was found to aid skin repair processes at a rate that depended on the concentration. This was because it was responsible for the expression of a specific gene factor which allows for the promotion of skin cell proliferation. This means that this cytokine could have future applications in healing cuts and wounds which is pretty awesome cause I mean we all hate stitches..

IL-22 (belonging to the interleukin type 2 receptors) was determined to be associated with the regulation of the formation of proteins involved in the structural aspect of the skin barrier allowing for the breakdown of old skin cells when it’s time for them to be replaced. If the gene associated with IL-22 is over expressed it can lead to skin degradation and other negative effects such as the ones associated with psoriasis and as a result is a good target for treatment of this disease.

Interferons were also found to be extra important because they were key to an essential step in the cell differentiation process from basal cells to primary differentiating superbasal cells.

I know this might not seem all that interesting but think of the future research that can now be done… this study helped to identify the effects of cytokines on skin development. This can have a great and helpful influence on  applications from medical findings on how to regenerate skin and regrow skin at a faster rate to engineering and developing of special suits that can be used by fire fighters or deep sea divers….

As always thanks for reading guys 😉