Scientists have discovered that Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) grows by taking advantage of the B6 vitamin

Scientists have discovered that Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) grows by taking advantage of the B6 vitamin to accelerate cell division. The research team from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) suggest they could halt the growth of this cancer by limiting its ability to manipulate the enzyme that pushes B6 to make proteins essential for cell division. It’s an approach to attacking cancer without harming healthy cells, which need the B6 vitamin to survive. Currently, only one-third of AML patients will survive five years after diagnosis. That’s because, like many other deadly cancers, the cells involved in this aggressive form of blood cancer can divide and spread faster than most treatments can kill them. CSHL Fellow Lingbo Zhang wanted to know how AML can achieve such rapid growth, so he looked closely at the genes of the disease’s cancerous white blood cells. “We found more than 230 genes that are very active in leukemic cells and then we tested them, one by one,” he explained. Using CRISPR gene-editing technology, Zhang’s lab shut down the activity of each of these 230 suspect genes to see i...

Types of B vitamins: Functions, sources, and deficiencies

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