Gene’s role in breast-tumor growth unlockedMay 2nd, 2010 - 11:09 am ICT by ANI
Washington, May 2 (ANI): A new research helps explain why breast-milk cells lose their structure, causing them to clump up in strange ways and sometimes become cancer tumors.
With the support of Chen Ling and Dongmei Zuo at McGill’s Goodman Cancer Centre, McGill Biochemist Dr. William Muller has discovered how one particular gene regulates epithelial cells - cells that normally form in sheets and are polarized to enable the transport of molecules in a single direction. It’s this loss of polarity that is thought to play an important role in breast tumor development. Scientists at the Ontario Cancer Institute (Princess Margaret Hospital’s research arm) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York State also contributed to the findings.
By using mouse models, Muller discovered that the cells do not form neat structures when the gene malfunctions.
“In fact, the first mouse model had a skin defect and was completely incapable of forming sheets of epithelial cells. This gene is frequently lost in breast cancer, significant proof that this gene might play an important role,” he said.
The research published in Genes and Development shows that if the gene is reintroduced into a tumour, polarity can be restored.
“This is an interesting first step along this particular path,” Muller said, pointing out that the gene functions by working with more than 40 various proteins, of which only one, a scaffold protein, has been identified.
Proteins, he said, play various roles in our body, from maintaining cell shape and function through to driving chemical reactions, immune responses and growth.
“We have many other steps to take before we can say this path will lead to a treatment or cure.” (ANI)
- New discovery may lead to novel treatments for a variety of cancers - Oct 28, 2010
- Normal healthy breast cells can help kill cancer cells - Apr 14, 2011
- How breast cancer cells dodge immune system and survive - Feb 02, 2011
- Key to individualized cancer therapy via gene silencing found - May 27, 2010
- Now, prostate cancer can be inhibited without disturbing body processes - Aug 10, 2010
- Overabundance of protein promotes growth of breast cancer stem cells - Feb 16, 2011
- Protein that makes tumor cells in breast cancer resistant to treatments - Dec 15, 2010
- Gene linked with vitamin B12 deficiency found - Aug 27, 2012
- New discovery may help in the fight against ovarian cancer - Feb 04, 2011
- Genetic change helps lung tumors spread to other parts of the body - Apr 07, 2011
- Enzyme essential for healthy lung development discovered - Mar 30, 2011
- Study solves 35-yr-old medical mystery using genetics - Jan 29, 2011
- Compound used to control cholesterol may also kill breast cancer - Feb 23, 2011
- New genetic clue to kidney cancer - Jan 20, 2011
- Protein that controls liver stem cells, prevents tumor development found - Aug 13, 2010
Tags: breast cancer, breast milk, breast tumor, cancer centre, cancer tumors, cell shape, cold spring harbor, cold spring harbor laboratory, development scientists, gene functions, genes and development, mouse models, ontario cancer institute, princess margaret hospital, skin defect, spring harbor laboratory, strange ways, tumor development, tumor growth, william muller