Researchers identify potential anti–cancer target

Researchers identify potential anti–cancer target
Dr Pascal Duijf. Credit: University of Queensland

University of Queensland researchers have discovered a key driver in the development of most cancers, including breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.

UQ Diamantina Institute researcher Dr Pascal Duijf said the discovery could be the foundation for improved diagnosis, new treatments and better assessment of a patient's prognosis.

"My team has discovered excessively high levels of the protein EMI1 in cancer samples, including the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma and tumours of the bone," Dr Duijf said.

"High levels of EMI1 promote tumour development, increase the tendency of cancer cells to spread, and change immune responses, which fuel cancer progression,"

"This is associated with poor patient prognosis, particularly in breast cancer."

Dr Duijf, a National Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Fellow, said high levels of EMI1 disrupted normal cell division leading to new cells with abnormal chromosome numbers.

"This process, referred to as , accelerates cancer progression and allows to become resistant to cancer therapies."

"Our findings indicate that high EMI1 levels are one of the strongest indicators of chromosome instability identified to date."

Dr Duijf said the discovery was an exciting step forward. The next step was to determine whether tumours had to maintain high levels of EMI1 to survive.

"If that is the case, it could present a promising anti-cancer target," he said.

The study is published in the Nature journal Oncogene.

Explore further

Cartilage protein may contribute to the development of breast cancer

More information: S Vaidyanathan et al. In vivo overexpression of Emi1 promotes chromosome instability and tumorigenesis, Oncogene (2016). DOI: 10.1038/onc.2016.94
Journal information: Nature , Oncogene

Citation: Researchers identify potential anti–cancer target (2016, June 3) retrieved 25 September 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors