Published on October 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM
According to the article, increased production of Fra-1 in the liver of these mice protects the organ from damage caused by drugs, such as Paracetamol. Moreover, Erwin Wagner's team also found that the removal of Fra-1 in mice causes a significant increase in liver damage.
How Fra-1 protects the liver is another question that Wagner's team answers in the article. On one hand, Fra-1 stimulates genes related to the glutathione defence system against free radicals and thus avoids cellular damage. On the other hand, Fra-1 stimulates genes that cause the removal of toxins from the body.
These results bring to light a new molecular component that could be key in future studies searching for new drugs for diseases related to the accumulation of toxic compounds, such as acute liver disease, alcoholism or cancer.
The team also highlights the importance that Fra-1's detoxifying role might have in the generation of chemotherapy resistance: "Tumour cells use very similar mechanisms as Fra-1 to eliminate chemotherapeutic agents", says Wagner, concluding that: "This makes us think that tumours might use Fra-1 to generate chemotherapy resistance and thus be able to keep growing."
Source: Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)