Molecular clockwork: Cry1 could have a protective effect on cancer cells
Then the researchers performed various tests to examine the involvement of Cry1 in DNA repair. They worked with cultured cancer cells in the laboratory, animals, and human prostate cancer tissue. They specifically damaged the cancer cells with the help of radiation.
After the radiation attack, the concentration of the Cry1 had increased. The researchers rated this as an indication that the cells actually reacted to this type of damage. In addition, Cry1 influenced the availability of factors that are necessary for the repair processes of the genetic material. And it changed the tools and means that cancer cells use to combat genetic damage.
The results suggest that Cry1 has a protective effect in cancer therapies that are actually aimed at destroying cancer cells. “The circadian factor changes the way cancer cells repair their genetic make-up,” says Shafi.
This role of Cry1 was unexpected. “We can conclude from this that in tumors with high levels of Cry1, those therapies that are directed against DNA repair also become ineffective.”
And that could be an additional problem. Because many cancer therapies, such as radiation, aim to intervene in the repair mechanisms of the genetic make-up DNA to damage and so let the cancer cells die.
Treatment of prostate cancer: Cry1 as a new target
Karen Knudsen says: “We didn’t just find one possible function for the Cry1 outside of its core tasks. Rather, our results initially provide indications of how Cry1 could contribute to the development of aggressive prostate cancer. ”Thus, the tumor-promoting properties of Cry1 may be a good target in the treatment of prostate cancer in the future. Research is now being carried out into this.
The scientists want to find out how they can best disable Cry1. It is also interesting to see which cancer therapies currently in use may act as additional “players” and prevent DNA repair in prostate cancer cells. They also want to examine all the genes that are involved in controlling the internal clock more closely.