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  • Conversation: 'Natural insecticide' kills advanced prostate cancer cells

    • April 9, 2018 12:44 PM BST
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      'Natural insecticide' kills advanced prostate cancer cells

      One of the hallmarks of advanced prostate cancer is a faulty PTEN tumor suppressor gene. Now, after screening compounds for their effect on cells lacking PTEN, scientists have discovered that a natural insecticide called deguelin can kill such cells by disrupting their energy supply.
      Deguelin belongs to a class of drugs known as mitochondrial inhibitors. The drugs block the action of mitochondria.
      Mitochondria are the tiny compartments inside cells that convert glucose in the cell into molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which serve as units of energy for fueling the various workings of the cell.
      Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York found that treating cells lacking PTEN with some types of mitochondrial inhibitor caused the cells to use glucose from their environment to make ATP and then transport it into their mitochondria to preserve them.
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