Mitochondria Linked to Drug Resistance in Leukaemia Cells: New Research Findings
Leukaemia is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming tissues, usually bone marrow, leading to abnormal white blood cell formation. It affects both adults and children, causing several symptoms ranging from anaemia to infections, and easy bleeding or bruising.
While traditional chemotherapy is still the go-to treatment for many cancer types, including leukaemia, drug resistance remains the major treatment challenge. Researchers have recently discovered that the origin of drug resistance in leukaemia cells may be traced back to an unexpected target: mitochondria.
Mitochondria are specialized organelles within cells that are responsible for energy production. In the past, it was assumed that they act passively within cells, but recent research has shown otherwise. In leukaemia cells, for instance, mitochondria have been found to play an active role in resistance to chemotherapy drugs.
The research, led by Dr. Michael Chiorazzo and his colleagues from Stanford University’s School of Medicine, has recently been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. According to the study, mitochondria protect leukaemia cells from chemotherapy drugs by releasing a protein called STING. STING, which stands for STimulator of INterferon Genes, is a protein known to play a critical role in the immune response to infections.
By releasing STING, mitochondria induce signalling pathways that trigger inflammatory responses, which consequently thwart the effect of chemotherapy drugs in leukaemia cells. The study found that drugs that can disrupt mitochondria, such as the antibiotic doxycycline, can effectively reverse drug resistance in leukaemia cells by stopping STING protein release.
What the Findings Mean
The research findings could potentially pave the way for the development of new drugs that target mitochondria in cancer cells. In particular, targeting STING release could be an effective strategy to overcome drug resistance in leukaemia and other cancer types.
The research has established the link between mitochondria and drug resistance, providing insight into the previously overlooked role of mitochondria in cancer development and treatment. This discovery could translate into novel therapeutic targets for chemotherapy-resistant cancers, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Hashtags: #mitochondria #DRUGresistance #leukaemia #chemotherapy #STING #immuneresponse #cancertreatment
The newly released research findings from Stanford University’s School of Medicine have established the link between mitochondria and drug resistance in leukaemia. The study found that mitochondria protect leukaemia cells from chemotherapy drugs by releasing a protein called STING, which induces immuno-inflammatory responses that quell drug effect. The findings shed light into the hitherto overlooked role of mitochondria in cancer development and provide a novel therapeutic target for resistant cancers. #HEALTH