Currently selected for this coming member’s digest by team member Melisa B.
From the article:
Researchers report in the April issue of Cancer Research that the GPR109A receptor is activated by butyrate, a metabolite produced by fiber-eating bacteria in the colon. The receptor puts a double-whammy on cancer by sending signals that trigger cell death, or apoptosis, and shutting down a protein that causes inflammation, a precursor to cancer.
That got the German research team to search for alternative activators of the receptor, resulting in identification of beta-hydroxybutyrate as a natural receptor activator. The same study showed butyrate also could activate the receptor but with much less potency. That got Dr. Ganapathy thinking about a place where butyrate levels were already high – the colon – which led to his discovery that the receptor was also on colon cells.
Butyrate plays other protective roles in colon cancer. In 2004, MCG researchers identified a gene, SLC5A8, that transports butyrate inside cells where it inhibits the enzyme HDAC, which gets upregulated in cancer to produce the uncontrolled cell growth that is a disease hallmark.
“If you block HDAC, you can kill the cancer cell,” Dr. Ganapathy says.