Olive Oil Nutrient Linked to Processes That Prevent Brain Cancer

Summary: Primary ingredient in olive oil can help prevent cancer causing genes from functioning in cells.

Source: University of Edinburgh.

A compound found in olive oil may help to prevent cancer developing in the brain, a study shows.

Research into oleic acid — the primary ingredient in olive oil — has shown how it can help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells.

The oily substance — one of a group of nutrients known as fatty acids — stimulates the production of a cell molecule whose function is to prevent cancer-causing proteins from forming.

The study team says it is too soon to say whether dietary consumption of olive oil may help prevent brain cancer. Their findings, however, point towards possible therapies based on the oil to prevent brain cancer from occurring.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh analysed the effect of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7, which is active in the brain and is known to suppress the formation of tumours.

They found that oleic acid prevents a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping production of miR-7. In this way, the olive oil component supports the production of miR-7, which helps prevent tumours from forming.

Image shows a bottle of olive oil.

Researchers made their discoveries in tests on human cell extracts and in living cells in the lab.

The study, published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Gracjan Michlewski of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: “While we cannot yet say that olive oil in the diet helps prevent brain cancer, our findings do suggest that oleic acid can support the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab. Further studies could help determine the role that olive oil might have in brain health.”

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Funding: Funding provided by Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust.

Source: Catriona Kelly – University of Edinburgh
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Oleic Acid Induces MiR-7 Processing through Remodeling of Pri-MiR-7/Protein Complex” by Santosh Kumar, Angela Downie Ruiz Velasco, and Gracjan Michlewski in Journal of Molecular Biology. Published online May 4 2017 doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2017.05.001

University of Edinburgh “Olive Oil Nutrient Linked to Processes That Prevent Brain Cancer.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 2 June 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/brain-cancer-olive-oil-6819/&gt;.

Abstract

Oleic Acid Induces MiR-7 Processing through Remodeling of Pri-MiR-7/Protein Complex

MicroRNAs (miRs) play a vital role in governing cell function, with their levels tightly controlled at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Different sets of RNA-binding proteins interact with primary miRs (pri-miRs) and precursor-miR transcripts (pre-miRs), controlling their biogenesis post-transcriptionally. The Hu antigen R (HuR)-mediated binding of Musashi homolog2 (MSI2) to the conserved terminal loop of pri-miR-7 regulates the levels of brain-enriched miR-7 formation in a tissue-specific manner. Here, we show that oleic acid (OA) inhibits the binding of proteins containing RNA recognition motifs (RRM) to the conserved terminal loop of pri-miR-7. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays in HeLa cell extracts, we show that OA treatment disrupts pre-miR/protein complexes.

Furthermore, OA rescues in vitro processing of pri-miR-7, which is otherwise blocked by HuR and MSI2 proteins. On the contrary, pri-miR-16 shows reduced processing in the presence of OA. This indicates that OA may inhibit the binding of other RRM-containing protein/s necessary for miR-16 processing. Finally, we demonstrate that OA induces mature miR-7 production in HeLa cells. Together, our results demonstrate that OA can regulate the processing of pri-miRs by remodeling their protein complexes. This provides a new tool to study RNA processing and a potential lead for small molecules that target the miR-7 biogenesis pathway.

“Oleic Acid Induces MiR-7 Processing through Remodeling of Pri-MiR-7/Protein Complex” by Santosh Kumar, Angela Downie Ruiz Velasco, and Gracjan Michlewski in Journal of Molecular Biology. Published online May 4 2017 doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2017.05.001

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