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Olive oil compound could help protect against brain cancer

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

June 05 2017. The June 2017 of the Journal of Molecular Biology published the finding of researchers at the University of Edinburgh of a protective effect for oleic acid from olive oil against the development of brain cancer.

Working with human cell extracts and cell cultures, Dr Gracjan Michlewski and colleagues determined that oleic acid prevents the cell protein Musashi homolog2 (MSI2) from halting the production of a microRNA known as miR-7, which protects against tumor formation.

“MicroRNAs (miRs) play a vital role in governing cell function, with their levels tightly controlled at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels,” lead author Santosh Kumar and associates explain. “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 to the conserved terminal loop of pri-miR-7.”

The research team has stated while it is too early to determine whether increasing one’s intake of olive oil could help protect against cancer of the brain, their discovery could aid in the development of preventive therapies.

“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 tumor-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab,” commented Dr Michlewski, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences. “Further studies could help determine the role that olive oil might have in brain health.”

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