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A UB group describes new functions of protein hCNT1, alternative to nucleoside transport in cancer cells

By 25 de June de 2013November 18th, 2020No Comments
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The scientific team lead by Marçal Pastor Anglada. Source: UB.

A UB group describes new functions of protein hCNT1, alternative to nucleoside transport in cancer cells

The protein hCNT1, which plays a major role in nucleoside transport, may have other biological functions that may affect cancer cells physiology, apart from their transport function. This is the main conclusion of the new scientific work published on the journal Cell Death and Disease. The paper is signed by a UB research group composed by Marçal Pastor Anglada, Sandra Pérez Torras, Anna Vidal Pla, Pedro Cano Soldado, Isabel Huber Ruano, and Adela Mazo, experts from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB (IBUB), and the Biomedical Research Networking Center on Hepatic and Digestive Diseases (CIBERehd). .

Nucleosides transporters are integral membrane proteins able to uptake and transport nucleosides, which are biomolecules formed by attaching a sugar and a nitrogenous base that take part in several cellular processes (nucleic acids synthesis, energy metabolism, etc.). These transporters are also the gateway into the cell for many compounds similar to nucleosides, for instance, cytotoxic agents with antitumor and antiviral activity.

Professor Marçal Pastor Anglada, research director and head of the Consolidated Research Group on Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapies (MPET) of the UB, states that “the role of nucleoside-derived drugs in cancer and viral diseases chemotherapy has been studied for years. On the contrary, we are recently studying the biological activity of nucleoside transporters, particularly drug transport in order to design new cancer treatments”.

Many nucleoside and similar drug transporters show different expression patterns in healthy tissues and cancer cells. Once in the cell, drugs transported can interfere in the routes bound to cell proliferation (tumours) or virus replication. To be exact, proteins hCNT are a nucleoside transporter family which shows high affinity for many drugs. They are expressed on many target cells and on all epithelial barriers which are determinant in pharmacokinetics intestinal epithelium, liver, kidney, and in the placenta barrier in humans).