Research results that the substance contained in bee venom 'destroys breast cancer cells and suppresses growth'

If you accidentally get stuck in a bee's needle, you may feel pain because of the poison injected from the needle. A team at the

Harley-Perkins Medical Research Institute in Australia announced the results of a study that the molecule contained in such a bee venom 'suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells'.

Honeybee venom and melittin suppress growth factor receptor activation in HER2-enriched and triple-negative breast cancer | npj Precision Oncology

Honeybee venom kills breast cancer cells-Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

A Molecule in Honeybee Venom Destroys Breast Cancer Cells in The Lab, Study Shows

It has been reported that bee venom may be useful in the treatment of atopic dermatitis , and in fact, folk remedies called ' apitherapy ' may cause body irritation, pain, and skin irritation by being stabbed by bee needles. It is expected to be effective against diseases. However, it seems that there is danger in apitherapy, and in 2018, a 55-year-old woman who was repeatedly stung by a bee needle with apitherapy caused severe anaphylactic shock and died several weeks later.

A woman stabbed by a bee dies due to ``health method of sticking a bee's needle into the body''-GIGAZINE

by Kris Fricke

This research team focused on a molecule called melittin, which is contained in the venom of bees. Melittin is the main component of honey bee venom and causes pain when bees sting, but honey bee not only uses melittin as a venom, but also as an antibacterial agent that repels pathogens that infect itself. It is said that.

Therefore, the research team experimented how honey bee venom acts on breast cancer cells cultured in the laboratory. Breast cancer can be classified into 5 types by pathological examination, but the breast cancer cells used in this experiment are several types including triple negative breast cancer . There are limited effective drugs for triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancer, and it is also known to have a poor prognosis due to its high proliferative capacity.

The team exposed bee venom from Ireland, Britain, and Australia and bumblebee venom from a comparison to breast cancer cells and normal cells. As a result, bumblebee venom, which does not contain melittin, had little effect on breast cancer cells, whereas honeybee venom completely destroyed breast cancer cells and had the effect of suppressing proliferation.

When melittin was blocked using an antibody, the breast cancer cells exposed to the venom of honeybees survived, confirming that this result is due to melittin. 'The bee venom was very powerful. We found that melittin could completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes,' said Ciara Duffy of the Harley Perkins Institute of Medicine.

In addition, melittin has been shown to interfere with the signaling required for cancer cell growth and inhibit the ability of cancer cells to replicate within as little as 20 minutes. 'Melittin is overexpressed in triple-negative breast cancer and regulates signal transduction by suppressing activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) , which is involved in cancer cell growth,' Duffy said. It was also found to suppress the activation of HER2 , which is overproduced in.' On the other hand, exposure of normal cells that produce EGFR and HER2 to melittin had little effect.

Since overexpression of EGFR and HER2 is also found in other types of cancer, such as lung cancer, melittin has the potential to target cancer cells other than breast cancer. In addition, in an experiment in which the research team compared the effect of artificially synthesized melittin with the honey bee venom, it was found that even the synthesized melittin can obtain most of the effects of the bee venom.

Next, the research team administered melittin and a chemotherapeutic agent such as docetaxel to mice with breast cancer, and found that the combination of both could effectively suppress the growth of aggressive cancer tumors. I found it. This is believed to be due to melittin forming holes in breast cancer cells, and the introduction of therapeutic agents from them promoted cell death.

Despite a series of experiments suggesting that melittin may be useful in treating cancer, researchers say it will take a long time before melittin can be used to treat humans. Before confirming the effects of melittin in humans, he said, a study would be needed to formally assess the toxicity of melittin and the maximum dose that can be administered to humans.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1h_ik