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Amino Acid’s Role in Cancer Control Investigated Interview with:
Sa Kan Yoo MD PhD
Division of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Kobe University, Kobe, Japan What is the background for this study?

Response: Cancer is often considered as a disease of “overgrowth”. But, many known “cancer genes” in fact induce cell death rather than cell growth. Because of this phenomenon, it requires involvement of many genes, not a single “cancer gene”, for cells to become cancer. Although this protective phenomenon that cancer genes induce cell death has been known, its exact mechanism has remained unclear. We tackled this problem using the fruit fly, found its mechanism and discovered a way to manipulate it by dietary nutrition. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Using the fruit fly, we found that a molecular mechanism by which a cancer gene called Src promotes both cell proliferation and cell death. This is similar to a  situation of a car in which someone simultaneously presses the accelerator and steps on the breaks . Taking advantage of this mechanism we succeeded to stop only acceleration, keeping the breaking intact, by using dietary manipulation. This leads to cancer elimination. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We are curious whether our findings in flies can be translated in human medicine in future studies.


Methionine restriction breaks obligatory coupling of cell proliferation and death by an oncogene Src in Drosophila

Hiroshi Nishida, Morihiro Okada, Lynna Yang, Tomomi Takano, Sho Tabata, Tomoyoshi Soga,Diana M Ho, Jongkyeong Chung, Yasuhiro Minami, Sa Kan Yoo

eLife 2021;10:e59809 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59809

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Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD