Study provides new drug target for Her-2 related breast cancer

Research led by Dr. Suresh Alahari, the Fred Brazda Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and its Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, details exactly how the Her2 cancer gene promotes the progression and spread of breast cancer cells. The inactivation of a tumor suppression gene called Nischarin is among the mechanisms identified. The findings provide a new therapeutic target to block the function of Her2. The research was published in Cancer Research, OnlineFirst on January 21, 2013.

About 30% of breast cancers are positive for the Her2 oncogene. Although this gene is implicated in breast cancer, the exact mechanism has been unknown. In this study, the researchers showed that the Her2 oncogene activates two short microRNAs, called miR-27b and miR-23b, which in turn regulate breast cancer progression and lung metastasis. The study also shows, for the first time, that these microRNAs inactivate the function of a called Nischarin, that Dr. Alahari's lab discovered.

Analysis to determine which of a number of cancer-related genes could be potential targets for miR-23b/27b found that only one other gene and Nischarin were directly targeted, and these microRNAs repressed its function. Nischarin is a novel protein that regulates breast cancer cell migration and movement. In a previous study, Dr. Alahari found that breast tumor growth and metastasis were reduced in the samples where they manipulated the overproduction of Nischarin.

"Our data for the first time show that these two microRNAs are highly expressed in breast cancer patients, and we were able suppress the expression of microRNAs using a novel antisense compound that led to inhibition of growth in a mouse model," notes Dr. Alahari. "This study will be helpful in developing novel breast cancer therapeutic drugs that target mciroRNAs in ."

Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer among American women this year, and 2,240 among men in the US, with 39,620 deaths in women and 410 deaths in men.

Risk factors include aging, weight gain, combined hormone therapy, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption. A family history increases risk, as does never having had children or having a first child after age 30. Mammography can often detect at an early stage when treatment options are greatest and a cure is possible.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New protein may suppress breast cancer growth

Sep 14, 2011

Research led by Dr. Suresh Alahari, the Fred Brazda Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and its Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, has found that a protein discovered by ...

Herceptin targets breast cancer stem cells

Jul 09, 2008

A gene that is overexpressed in 20 percent of breast cancers increases the number of cancer stem cells, the cells that fuel a tumor's growth and spread, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive ...

Enhancing the effectiveness of a breast cancer treatment

Feb 13, 2012

Breast cancers expressing the protein HER2 have a particularly poor prognosis. Treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) benefits some patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, but it is not as effective as had been hoped. ...

Recommended for you

The fine line between breast cancer and normal tissues

1 hour ago

Up to 40 percent of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery require additional operations because surgeons may fail to remove all the cancerous tissue in the initial operation. However, researchers at Brigham ...

Pancreatic cancer risk not higher with diabetes Rx DPP-4i

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—There is no increased short-term pancreatic cancer risk with dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4i) compared to sulfonylureas (SU) and thiazolidinediones (TZD) for glycemic control, according ...

Good bowel cleansing is key for high-quality colonoscopy

5 hours ago

The success of a colonoscopy is closely linked to good bowel preparation, with poor bowel prep often resulting in missed precancerous lesions, according to new consensus guidelines released by the U.S. Multi-Society Task ...

New rules for anticancer vaccines

6 hours ago

Scientists have found a way to find the proverbial needle in the cancer antigen haystack, according to a report published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

User comments