Researchers identify possible receptor for key breast cancer regulator

January 13, 2012, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

A key protein potentially involved in regulating breast cancer progression has been identified by researchers at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. Led by professor Costel Darie, the team worked to identify the binding partner of Tumor Differentiating Factor (TDF), a pituitary hormone that had previously been shown to reduce cancer progression in breast cancer cells.

Earlier studies had shown that treated with TDF lost their cancerous characteristics and began acting like normal mammary cells, suggesting that TDF had tumor-suppressing capabilities. However, how TDF acted remained unclear, leading Darie's group to initiate a search for a cellular receptor in cancer cells that might bind TDF and transmit its anti-tumorigenic cues.

Darie's group found that a receptor, labeled TDF-R, was found exclusively in breast, but not other cancer, cells, suggesting a level of specificity that agrees with previous reports of the efficacy of TDF. This result, which is being reported in a forthcoming issue of the , has substantial potential implications for developing new therapies for treating breast cancers known to be unresponsive to standard steroid hormone-based therapies, such as tamoxifen treatment.

Looking toward the next step, Darie asserted that "finding the receptor for the TDF hormone will allow us to rationally design drugs that will have a potent ability to stop ." He continued, "We will also be able to use TDF as a biomarker for breast cancer onset, thereby improving diagnoses."

Though and mortality rates have declined over the past 30 years, breast cancer remains a major killer: In 2007, accounted for about 40,000 deaths in the U.S., while another 200,000 women were diagnosed, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Explore further: Childbearing may increase risk of hormone receptor-negative breast cancer in African-American women

More information: The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 1719-1733. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.284091

Related Stories

Childbearing may increase risk of hormone receptor-negative breast cancer in African-American women

August 16, 2011
African-American women are at higher risk for hormone receptor-negative breast cancer, one of the most difficult subtypes to treat, but this risk could be ameliorated somewhat by breast-feeding their children.

Breast cancer type linked to paternal cancer

November 28, 2011
The risk of breast cancer is increased by genetic and lifestyle factors such as the inherited BRCA2 gene, age of having first child, or use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). New research published in BioMed Central's ...

Marker identifies breast cancer patients likely to respond to tamoxifen

May 18, 2011
Cancer researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and an international team of collaborators have discovered a biomarker in breast cancer that may help identify which women will respond to anti-estrogen therapy.

Recommended for you

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.