Thymosin Beta 4 and Its Influence on Tumor Growth

In this article, we will take a close look at Thymosin Beta 4, a naturally occurring peptide, and its potential impact on tumor growth. We will understand the current research suggesting its role in tumor progression and the need for further investigation to fully understand this complex relationship. The article also discusses the multifunctional roles of Thymosin Beta 4 in cell structure, movement, and various physiological processes.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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Thymosin Beta 4 and Tumor Influence

Thymosin Beta 4, a naturally occurring peptide, has been studied for its potential impact on tumor growth. Current research suggests that it may play a role in tumor progression, although the exact mechanisms are still under investigation. It's important to note that while Thymosin Beta 4 may influence tumor development, more research is needed to fully understand this complex relationship.

What is Thymosin Beta 4?

Thymosin Beta 4 (Tβ4) is a highly conserved small protein present in almost every mammalian cell. It weighs 5 kDa and comprises around 70-80% of all beta-thymosins in the human body [1].

Tβ4 is composed of 43 amino acid residues, and its molecular weight is 4982 [2, 3].

The biological function of Tβ4 is in maintaining cell structure and movement [4, 5]. Particularly, Tβ4 binds to actin, a protein forming the cytoskeleton of all eukaryotic cells.

Additionally, Tβ4 functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits bone marrow stem cell proliferation, and mediates cell migration and differentiation [4, 6].

Furthermore, like BPC175, Tβ4 plays a crucial role in angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), a process critical in healing wounds and tissue regeneration [6].

Does Thymosin Beta 4 Influence Tumor Growth?

Yes, Tβ4 has been found to play an important role in tumor growth and progression.

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According to scientific studies on mice, the expression of Tβ4 increases the grade of malignant gliomas, and silencing the expression of Tβ4 can prevent migration and invasion of these cells. Additionally, it promotes cell death of malignant gliomas and enhances the survival of mice with such inclusions [7].

Furthermore, high Tβ4 expression has been linked to worse prognosis in several cancer types, including colorectal cancer and bladder transitional cell carcinoma [8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

In colorectal cancer, Tβ4 stimulates the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1, which are known to promote tumor growth [11].

In thyroid cancer, higher Tβ4 expression was correlated with advanced disease characteristics [8].

In breast cancer, Tβ4 was overexpressed in cancer cells, leukocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells [9].

Furthermore, in lung cancer, the expression of Tβ4 was higher in cancer tissues compared to normal tissues and was also related to TNM stages, cell differentiation, and metastasis of the cancer [13].

Altogether, although the exact mechanism and pathway of Tβ4 contribution to cancer are unknown, studies suggest that Tβ4 plays an important role in tumor biology.

Does Thymosin Beta 4 Affect the Risk of Cancer?

Tβ4 is believed to be involved in various biological processes, and according to several studies, it appears that Tβ4 plays a significant role in cancer biology, specifically the progression and metastasis of various cancer types.

Although these studies suggest a correlation between the expression of Tβ4 and cancer progression, there is not a direct causal relationship. However, it appears that Tβ4 is involved in the evolution of cancer within one's body. Whether that is a side effect or a trigger itself, more research needs to be conducted to determine such questions directly.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.