Endotrophin links obesity to breast cancer progression

October 8, 2012

Fat cells (adipocytes) surround breast tumors and contribute to tumor growth by expressing factors that aid oncogenesis. Col6 is a protein that is highly expressed in adipocytes and its expression is further increased in both obesity and in breast cancer cells.

In this issue of the , Phillip Scherer and Jiyoung Park of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report that a portion of the Col6 protein, known as endotrophin, alters the tumor environment to promote tumor growth and metastasis in mice.

Mice with reduced endotrophin expression had significantly less tumor burden and fewer metastases. These findings link obesity and cancer progression and suggest that endotrophin may serve as novel therapeutic target in the treatment of breast cancer.

Explore further: Adipose cells and breast cancer -- a dangerous combination

More information: Endotrophin links obesity to breast cancer progression, J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI63930

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