Lectures and seminars

Isotopes Affect Biology: How and Why, Dr. Gábor Somlyai

2014-06-1214:00 Large seminar room (in A3:3), Scheele laboratory, Scheeles väg 2Campus Solna

Deuterium is the key element of a submolecular regulatory system in living organisms

Somlyai Gábor, HYD LLC for Cancer Research and Drug Development, Budapest, Hungary

Although the concentration of the heavy stable isotope of hydrogen, deuterium D, is more than 10 mM (150 ppm) in living organisms, the role of D in living organisms is still debated. The growth of various cell lines (HT199  melanoma, A549 lung and MCF7 breast cancer) is inhibited in vitro by deuterium-depleted water (DDW) in a range from 25 ppm to 135 ppm D. Even 1 ppm decrease in D-concentration in the media every 8 h was associated with a lower growth rate. The increase of D-concentration above natural level (200-800 ppm) stimulated cell growth.

  Simultaneous DDW administration enhanced the growth-controlling effect of anticancer drugs. Replacing the normal daily water intake with DDW (25 ppm D) induced complete or partial tumor regression in dogs and cats. In human clinical studies, the integration of DDW (25-105 ppm) into conventional therapies resulted a 2-3 fold increase in median survival time of patients with prostate, breast and lung cancer. We contemplate that naturally occurring D is a key element of a still obscure sub-molecular regulatory system. Deuterium depletion opens new perspectives in cancer treatment and prevention offering a completely safe and non-invasive treatment modality.

Somlyai, G., et al. (1993) Naturally occurring deuterium is essential for the normal growth rate of cells. FEBS Letters, 1993, 317, 1-4.; Kotyk, A., et al.: Deuterons cannot replace protons in active transport processes in yeast. FEBS Letters, 1990, 264(2), 203-205.

Understanding the isotopic resonance phenomenon and exploring its potential

Roman A. Zubarev, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Isotopic resonance [1] is an observation that, at certain isotopic compositions of the elements C, H, N and O (in principle, any elements), masses of molecules composed of these elements (e.g. for CHON: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, etc.) become much simpler objects in the equations of physico-chemical laws. Such compositions are called resonance isotopic compositions. Curiously, terrestrial isotopic compositions of CHON are very close to a resonance for a large class of molecules. The isotopic resonance hypothesis [1] suggests that this reduction of complexity leads to faster kinetics of chemical and biochemical reactions for the molecules with resonance isotopic compositions. If true, then Life as we know it has benefited from the terrestrial isotopic resonance to take root, or perhaps even emerge, in our Solar system.

  The isotopic resonance hypothesis has been tested on literature data [2], as well as experimentally [3,4]. With the combined p-value of, conservatively, <10-6, the isotopic resonance hypothesis is now firmly confirmed. One of the remarkable predictions relates to the effects of deuterium depletion and enrichment. The hypothesis suggests that depletion below 150 ppm should first lead to a decrease in the rate of chemical and biochemical reactions, and then, at a deep depletion (perhaps, 1-2 ppm), the effect should reverse itself, leading to faster growth. On the other hand, enrichment to 300-600 ppm should increase the growth rate. There is a bounty of observations, starting from 1930s [5], that support these predictions.

 1. Zubarev RA, Artemenko KA, Zubarev AR, Mayrhofer C, Yang H, Fung EYM. Early life relict feature in peptide mass distribution, Cent. Eur. J. Biol. 2010, 5, 190-196. 2.  Zubarev RA. Role of Stable Isotopes in Life - Testing Isotopic Resonance Hypothesis, Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics, 2011, 9, 15-20. 3. Xie X, Zubarev RA. Effects of low-level deuterium enrichment on bacterial growth, PLOS One, accepted. 4.     Zubarev RA, Xie X, in preparation. 5. Barnes TC, The effect of heavy water on low concentration on Euglena. Science, 1934, 79: 370.

Contact person: Roman Zubarev