Regulator of gene expression responsible for the progression of breast cancer

by Bill Hathaway
Gene regulator critical for breast cancer metastasis to the lung is identified
Credit: Shutterstock

Yale Cancer Center researchers have identified a regulator of gene expression that is responsible for the progression of breast cancer and its metastasis to the lung. The study appears online in Cell Reports.

In women, breast cancer is the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. When it metastasizes, it does so primarily to the lung, brain, and bone. Only limited treatment options are available, and scientists are working to identify and test new drug targets for the development of effective therapies.

Recent studies suggest that abnormal gene expression contributes significantly to tumor formation and progression. But the regulators of such changes in metastasis are poorly understood.

The Yale researchers analyzed datasets of human breast tumors, as well as those of cancer cells, and found that overexpression of the enzyme RBP2 is critical for to the lung. Loss of RBP2, they also found, suppressed in mouse models.

The authors say their evidence suggests that RBP2 regulates a critical epigenetic switch that sets the stage for . They say the enzyme offers a novel target for development of therapies designed to inhibit and metastasis.

"Metastasis is the major cause of breast cancer-related death," said senior author Qin Yan, assistant professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine. "Our study provides the first evidence, in genetically engineered mice, that a new class of enzymes could be targeted to suppress tumor metastasis."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New signaling pathway linked to breast cancer metastasis

Apr 02, 2012

Lymph nodes help to fight off infections by producing immune cells and filtering foreign materials from the body, such as bacteria or cancer cells. Thus, one of the first places that cancer cells are found when they leave ...

Recommended for you

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

7 hours ago

(AP)—Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes

7 hours ago

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

19 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

User comments