Sirtuins are enzymes that regulate the expression of genes that control the function of cells through key cellular signalling pathways.
A new study shows that naturally occurring pigments in berries, Wich can also known as anthocyanins, increase the function of the sirtuin 6 enzyme in cancer cells. The regulation of this enzyme could open up new avenues for cancer treatment.
Ageing causes changes in sirtuin function, and these changes contribute to the development of various diseases. Sirtuin 6, or SIRT6, is a less common enzyme that is also linked to glucose metabolism.
Berries get their red, blue or purple colour from natural pigments, anthocyanins.
According to Minna Rahnasto-Rilla, Doctor of Pharmacy “The most interesting results of our study relate to cyanidin, which is an anthocyanin found abundantly in wild bilberry, blackcurrant and lingonberry,”
Cyanidin increased SIRT6 enzyme levels in human colorectal cancer cells, and it was also discovered to decrease the expression of the Twist1 and GLUT1 cancer genes, while increasing the expression of the tumour suppressor FoXO3 gene in cells.
The scientist also designed a computer-based model that allowed them to predict how different flavonoid compounds in plants can regulate the SIRT6 enzyme.
The discoveries indicated that anthocyanins increase the activation of SIRT6, which may play a role in cancer pathogenesis. The study furthermore created a room and opportunity for the development of new drugs that regulate SIRT6 function.
The Sirtuin Research Group studies whether anthocyanins found in berries could activate SIRT6 function and, consequently, reduce the expression of cancer genes and cancer cell growth. The group also develops new compounds targeting the epigenetic regulation of gene function..
Apart from the discovery made on berries, they have been known to huve a massive positive impacts on general health Wich includes the facts that:
Berries are filled with antioxidants
Berries help improve blood sugar
They are high in fiber
They contain several nutrients
They help lower cholesterol levels
They are good for the skin.
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