New protein signature of breast cancer progression identified

May 22, 2012, University College Dublin

A protein signature that predicts overall survival in breast cancer patients has been uncovered in the most comprehensive survey of protein expression patterns in breast cancer progression to date.

The findings of the collaborative study led by the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany and involving researchers in University College Dublin and the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology, Dublin City University are published in the current issue of .

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of for women in the USA. Within the various subtypes of the disease, estrogen receptor negative (ER-) tumours have a relatively .

This study focused on identifying the proteins associated with the progression of ER- tumours and, of the 8750 proteins identified, 7800 were quantified. Proteomic analysis showed that high levels of proteins, CRABP2 and IDH2, along with low levels of SEC14L2 were predictive of overall breast cancer survival in patients.

The Irish contribution to the study, which involved Conway Fellow, Professor William Gallagher and Dr Stephen Madden (DCU), focused on the in silico validation of the candidate multi-marker signature of these 3 proteins (CRABP2, IDH2, SEC14L2).

‘As the initial discovery work by the Mann group in the Max Planck Institute was performed on a discrete set of cell culture models and clinical specimens, our work provided a key element of verification on more than 1,200 patients,”, said Professor Gallagher, Associate Professor of Cancer Biology, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and deputy coordinator of the SFI Molecular Therapeutics for Cancer Ireland Strategic Research Cluster. “We were also able to demonstrate that this prognostic signature retained value at the mRNA level, as the original discovery work was at the protein level”.

Commenting on the potential impact of the research, Professor Gallagher added, “The real strength of this work is that it will act as a very extensive repository for information for multiple investigators worldwide, thereby impacting on a wide range of downstream studies”.

Ideally, Gallagher and his team would hope to look at the functional relevance of the differentially expressed proteins identified in terms of their respective contributions to and to further validate using hundreds to thousands of clinical specimens that this 3-marker signature also works at the protein level.

Explore further: Personalising the use of chemotherapy in breast cancer treatment

More information: Proteomic portrait of human breast cancer progression identifies novel prognostic markers. Tamar Geiger, Stephen F. Madden, William M. Gallagher, Juergen Cox and Matthias Mann, Cancer Research, May 1 2012 (first published online Mar 12)

Related Stories

Personalising the use of chemotherapy in breast cancer treatment

December 15, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- UCD researchers have identified a novel biomarker that can identify those women with breast cancer who will have a poor response to tamoxifen, one of the principle anti-hormone drugs used to treat the ...

Scientists identify natural defence cells that impede chemotherapy treatment

April 27, 2011
As part of the body’s front-line defences against infection, white blood cells called macrophages often infiltrate tumours in great numbers. However, according to new research published in the scientific journal Cancer ...

Researchers identify new genes that determine breast cancer prognosis

September 26, 2011
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have made a discovery that brings them one step closer to being able to better predict which patients have the best chance of surviving breast cancer.

Cellular 'glue' resists breast cancer

April 20, 2012
Early detection and advances in the treatment for breast cancer have improved the chances of survival, however new avenues for treatment are still needed in the battle against this disease. New research published in BioMed ...

Recommended for you

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

January 23, 2018
Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights ...

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

January 23, 2018
In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers

January 23, 2018
Aggressive cancers like glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer have in common a siren call that beckons the bone marrow to send along whatever the tumors need to survive and thrive.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

January 23, 2018
A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light ...

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

Workouts may boost life span after breast cancer

January 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Longer survival after breast cancer may be as simple as staying fit, new research shows.

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.