Due to the distinctive feature of cancerous cells to divide rapidly, it requires a huge amount of food in the form of nutrients and glucose to survive. A new approach has been identified by the scientists at the University of Texas to prevent the growth and spreading of the most common and lethal pancreatic cancer, by cutting the food supply.
This ultramodern approach was used by the researchers to thoroughly analyze the mechanism by which pancreatic cancer cells reposition their surface proteins. During the analysis, a new protein SDC1 (syndecan-1) came into light. The protein shifts towards the cell surface due to the signals generated by the mutant protein KRAS, generally present in over 90% of exocrine pancreatic cancers.
During the course of study, the researchers further got to know that the exact position of SDC1 on the cell surface plays a crucial role in up regulating macropinocytosis by the pancreatic cancer cells. However, macropinocytosis activation by the mutant protein has been recognized quite earlier, the overall vision of the molecular mechanism regulating the process is not clear yet.
The research team confirmed that KRAS release some signals on which SDC1 responds by accumulating on the cell surface and induce the pathway.
The researchers said that the membrane of the cell is quite dynamic, as it remains shifting due to the signals exhibited from the cell and from the outer surroundings. In the case of cancer cells, genetic mutations push the cells to follow strict commands and orderly arrange pathways that will drive the cells to grow uncontrollably.
Understanding the KRAS signaling pathway is quite difficult for the researchers as KRAS mutation is very frequent in pancreatic cancerous cells. Later, the scientists formulated an innovative way to understand the cell surface in a pancreatic cancer model in which KRAS gene can be turned on and off. But currently, the implementation of this formulation is not feasible to effectively target KRAS genes through any medications and treatments.