Myeloma and beta catenin (& curcumin)

December 27 2010 post. Sometimes I get really excited by the stuff I read. Today is one of those days…even though I have been concentrating on housecleaning, since friends of mine are spending the weekend with us, and I would really like the house to be clean and tidy for them (sigh…I really wish I had a magic wand…ah, don’t we all? )…At any rate, in between mad fits of straightening up and dusting, I have found the time to sit down and read bits of this and bits of that. And one of these bits happens to be this Science Daily article: 

Okay, so you block a protein called beta-catenin, and whambamslam!, your leukemic cells go back to their pre-leukemic stage. Amazing, huh? And there is more good news: even leukemic stem cells that had become resistant to treatment could be ‘re-sensitised’ to treatment by suppressing the same protein.

As you have probably guessed, this beta-catenin protein is active in myeloma, too. Have a look at this abstract (which is very interesting on other levels, too): (Griseofulvin, incidentally, is another anti-fungal drug (I looked it up)…Remember ciclopirox olamine? Exactly…Oh, and this reminds me that during these holidays I should really finish my “virus link to myeloma” post…)

Now, this study examined the suppression of beta-catenin in MLL, or myeloid-lymphoid leukemia, cells…not in myeloma cells. As soon as I read that, though, I looked up MLL cells in PubMed and found that myeloma has cells that behave as badly as the MLL ones. I think, therefore, that it would be extremely interesting to see what would happen to myeloma cells if beta-catenin were blocked in its “MLL-behaving” cells…I mean, would these cells go back to their pre-myeloma stage? What an incredibly exciting thought! I am seriously thinking of writing to the head researcher…

Oh phooey booey, it’s getting late, and I still have some work to do. Just quickly, then, let me tell you that curcumin inhibits beta-catenin. Yes indeedie! A number of studies tell us so, including this one: In fact, beta-catenin seems to be quite active in a number of cancers…hmmm…food for thought…

Clearly, this topic merits further research…Right now, though, I have just enough time to make a note of it…


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