Monday, November 16, 2009

Statins as anticancer and anti diabetic agents ?

We know that statins are widely used as cholesterol lowering drugs. They act by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway that leads to the synthesis of farnesyl pyrophosphate, a precursor for cholesterol synthesis and the source of lipid moieties for protein prenylation. But researchers from University of Gothenburg, have found that statins might be useful as anticancer and antidiabetic too.

Statins lower cholesterol by blocking certain enzymes involved in our metabolism. However, they have also been shown to affect other important lipids in the body, such as the lipids that help proteins to attach to the cell membrane (known as lipid modification). Because many of the proteins that are lipid-modified cause cancer, there are now hopes that it will be possible to use statins in the treatment of cancer.

Studies show that statins can have a dramatic inhibitory effect on growth and development. As the researchers managed to identify the enzyme involved, they can also explain how the effect arises at molecular level. Not least that they can prevent the growth of cancer cells caused by lipid-modified proteins, but also that they can be effective in the treatment of diabetes and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's. In one of my earlier blog, I have mentioned about the simvastin (Simvastatin prevents progression of Parkinson's Disease ?).

So in the days to come statins may be useful as anticancer, anti diabetic and even to treat Parkinsons disaese....

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