Darmstadt, August 26th 2022
In the Chinese study from 2022, the importance of the enzyme transketolase (TKT) in connection with cancer is highlighted. In addition to the TKT gene, the two TKT-like genes TKTL1 and TKTL2 are being investigated, with the assumption that both TKT and TKTL1 are involved in various cancer-relevant processes such as cell proliferation or metastasis formation and are thus relevant for the prognosis of patients. This assumption does not apply to the TKTL2 gene.
Cell metabolism plays a crucial role in this process. In the study, it was noticed that tumor cells prefer glycolytic energy production – i.e. energy production without the involvement of oxygen – despite oxygen supply. This is where the gene TKTL1 comes into play as a key enzyme in glucose metabolism, because in this context it not only provides energy, but also supplies the metabolites for tumor growth.
The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), a branched part of glycolysis, produces precursors for cell division and is the main source of the molecule NADPH, which provides antioxidant protection and enables fat biosynthesis. TKT, which acts in the non-oxidative branch of PPP, plays a central role in this process and is closely associated with cancer cell growth.
The study discusses the importance of TKT and TKTL1 for different tumor types, such as lung, breast, colon or thyroid tumors, and finds a remarkable correlation between cancer development and the two enzymes. TKT and TKTL1 were shown to promote tumor cell growth and reduce oxidative stress damage.
Exploring the complex structure and function of TKT opens a new dimension in understanding tumor development and therapy.
You can view the full study from 2022 here
About Zyagnum: The Darmstadt-based biotechnology company Zyagnum AG develops diagnostic solutions for human medicine. Zyagnum has a profound understanding of immunological processes and their connection with diseases. For example, the EDIM® technology developed by Zyagnum can be used in blood tests to detect specific antigens in immune cells that may play a role in tumour development. Today, the company employs more than 40 people and was founded by Zyagnum CEO Ralf Schierl together with Johannes Coy in 2007.
About EDIM®: When the human organism derails and runs towards disease, the immune system is often the first to recognise this, often before any symptoms. The platform technology we have developed, EDIM® (Epitope Detection in Monocytes), uses the mechanisms of the immune system to detect such derailments. The EDIM® technology examines macrophages for antigens that have previously been taken up into the cell interior by these immune cells through phagocytosis – this is why we also call EDIM® an immunological biopsy.
About PanTum Detect®: The PanTum Detect® is based on EDIM® technology and detects the enzymes TKTL1 and DNaseX (Apo10) in macrophages. A large-scale study at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf was able to show that the PanTum Detect® can provide the decisive indication as to which people without typical symptoms and suspected cancer in a healthy screening benefit from further examination by imaging procedures. In the case of the 2022 study, a previously undetected cancer or precancerous lesion was detected in 124 subjects out of more than 5,000 study participants – from 29 different tumour types in the study alone (Positive Predictive Value: 82%).