MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway




Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how a gene crucial in triggering the spread of breast cancer is turned on and off. The findings could help predict whether breast tumors will metastasize and also reveal potential drug targets for preventing metastasis. The study will appear in the May 20th online edition of the Journal of Cell Science.

A few years ago, Einstein researchers discovered a gene called ZBP1 (zipcode binding protein 1), which helps cells to move, grow and organize spatially. "ZBP1 is very active in the developing embryo but largely silent in adult tissues," says Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. He is one of ZBP1's discoverers and leader of the current study.



Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway

Scientists have subsequently observed that ZBP1 is reactivated in several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and non-small cell lung cancers; but the gene is silenced in metastasizing cancer cells, as was shown by Dr. Singer and another Einstein scientist, John Condeelis, Ph.D., who also is co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. The purpose of the current study was to find how the ZBP1 gene is activated and silenced and how it influences the spread of breast cancer.

After examining mouse, rat, and human breast cancer cells, Dr. Singer and his team observed that ZBP1 silencing occurs when a methyl group (CH3) attaches to ZBP1's promoter region (the segment of a gene where gene expression is initiated). The attachment of CH3 prevents the promoter from binding to a protein called beta-catenin. And without beta-catenin, the ZBP1 gene is effectively silenced.

The study also showed that the silencing of ZBP1 increases cancer cells' ability to migrate and promotes the proliferation of metastatic cells.

The findings have important implications for forecasting breast cancer outcomes. As per the researchers, signs of ZBP1 silencing in breast cancer cells would indicate that a breast tumor is likely to spread-information that would help in choosing a therapy strategy.

The study also points to potential targets for drug therapy. "If you could turn on this protein in cancer cells, or prevent it from being turned off, you could seriously reduce the ability of the cells to metastasize," says Dr. Singer.

The research team is investigating whether the ZBP1 gene in cancer cells could be reactivated-and the cells prevented from metastasizing-by selectively removing CH3 from the ZBP1 promoter.

The paper, "Increased proliferation and migration of breast metastatic cells results from ZBP1 repression by blocking beta-catenin promoter binding," is reported in the May 20, 2009, online edition of the Journal of Cell Science. Wei Gu, M.D., Ph.D., instructor in anatomy and structural biology at Einstein, is the main author. Feng Pan, Ph.D., now at NYU School of Medicine, is a co-author.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how a gene crucial in triggering the spread of breast cancer is turned on and off. The findings could help predict whether breast tumors will metastasize and also reveal potential drug targets for preventing metastasis. The study will appear in the May 20th online edition of the Journal of Cell Science.

Medicineworld.org: Gene In Breast Cancer Pathway

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.