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'Ancient' system unlocks cancer secrets

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Medical Xpress has an article at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-01-ancient-cancer-secrets.html

Some highlights:

This project looked at two major signaling networks. Often referred to as the body's fuel gauge; a protein called AMP-Kinase, or AMPK, regulates cellular energy, slowing cell growth down when they don't have enough nutrients or energy to divide.

The other, that of a protein complex called mTORC1/TORC1, which also regulates cell growth, increases cell proliferation when it senses high levels of nutrients . . .

AMPK can 'put the brakes on' mTORC1, preventing cell proliferation ... mTORC1 can reciprocally also inhibit AMPK and keep it in a suppressed state

 "yeast cells became highly sensitive to nutrient shortages when we disrupted the ability of mTORC1 to inhibit AMPK."

Starving cancerous mammalian cells of amino acids and energy increases growth rate due to the cells entering a starvation mode.

 transition to survival mode was lost when we again removed the ability of mTORC1 to inhibit AMPK

Blocking mTORC1-mediated negative feedback to AMPK is likely to protect against cancer, as poorly vascularized solid tumors cells are be expected to be nutritionally stressed," she says.

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