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Title: Tumour associated proteolysis and protein metabolism
Author: Smith, Kate L.
Awarding Body: Aston University
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 1992
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The effect of cancer cachexia on protein metabolism has been studied in mice transplanted with the MAC16 adenocarcinoma. The progressive cachexia induced by the MAC16 tumour was characterised by a reduction in carcass nitrogen between 16-30% weight loss and a reciprocal increase in tumour nitrogen content. Carcass nitrogen loss was accompanied by a concomitant decrease in gastrocnemius muscle weight and nitrogen content and also by a decrease in liver nitrogen content. The loss of gastrocnemius muscle throughout the progression of cachexia was attributable to a 60% decrease in the rate of protein synthesis and a 240% increase in the rate of protein degradation. The loss of skeletal muscle protein that may be mediated by an increased rate of protein degradation has been correlated with a circulatory catabolic factor present only in cachectic tumour-bearing animals, that degrades host muscle in vitro. The proteolysis-inducing factor was found to be heat stable, not a serine protease and was inhibited by indomethacin and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in a dose-related manner. The proteolytic factor induced prostaglandin E2 formation in the gastrocnemius muscle of non tumour-bearing animals and this effect was inhibited by indomethacin and EPA. In vivo studies show EPA (2.0g/kg-1 by gavage) to effectively reverse the decrease in body weight in animals bearing the MAC16 tumour with a concomitant reduction in tumour growth. Muscle from animals treated with EPA showed a decrease (60%) in protein degradation without an effect on protein synthesis. The action of the factor was largely mimicked by triarachidonin and trilinoleia. The increased serum levels of arachidonic acid in cachectic tumour-bearing animals may thus be responsible for increased protein degradation through prostanoid metabolism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Phd
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pharmacy Human physiology Medicine Biochemistry