A component of grapefruit and other citrus fruits like naringenin, blocks the formation of kidney cysts, a new study has revealed.
The team of scientists from Royal Holloway University, St George's, University of London and Kingston University London used a simple, single-celled amoeba to identify that naringenin regulates the PKD2 protein responsible for polycystic kidney disease and as a result, blocks formation of cysts.
Professor Robin Williams from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway said that this discovery provides an important step forward in understanding how polycystic kidney disease may be controlled.
To test how this discovery could apply in treatments, the team used a mammalian kidney cell-line, and triggered the formation of cysts in these cells. They were then able to block the formation of the cysts by adding naringenin and saw that when levels of the PKD2 protein were reduced in the kidney cells, so was the block in cyst formation, confirming that the effect was connected.
Meanwhile, Dr Mark Carew, from the School of Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston University, said further investigation is underway to understand the action of naringenin at the molecular level. This work will entail looking at the function of the PKD2 protein as a cell growth regulator.
The study is published in British Journal of Pharmacology. (ANI)