Trash of our cells turned into a treatment for cancer and dementia

(ORDO NEWS) — Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has shown that a newly discovered mechanism could potentially offer scientists a “tumbler switch” for treating diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The breakthrough is related to cellular cleansing organelles called lysosomes, and came about as MIT researchers developed a new way to measure the dry mass of cells. This method also allows you to get an idea of ​​the density and composition of the cell.

The new tool was used to study a type of cell division called mitosis, with the scientists aiming to learn what happens to cell mass and composition throughout the process.

The experiments were carried out on cancer cells, which divide more frequently than normal healthy cells, and the scientists found that the dry mass decreased as the cells entered mitosis, and after the completion of cell division, the mass was restored again.

Further studies have shown that during mitosis, the activity of lysosomes increases in cells. These cellular organelles are responsible for breaking down and utilizing cellular waste products through a process called exocytosis. The lysosomes did this with such zeal that the cells lost about four percent of their mass during division.

The discovery of this mechanism could affect how we treat diseases. Cancer cells divide frequently and are known to shed some chemotherapy drugs through exocytosis, which helps them become resistant to treatment. It is hypothesized that if exocytosis can be prevented, it could make cancer cells more vulnerable to certain treatments.

This new understanding of the activity of lysosomes and their role in cell division opens up interesting new possibilities for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. By finding a way to manipulate this mechanism, we can have a switch that allows us to change the way toxic products are removed from cells.


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