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Role for sugar uptake in breast cancer revealed
Date:12/18/2013

culture assay in which both malignant and non-malignant breast cells behave in a manner that is phenotypically analogous to their corresponding architecture in living tissue.

"In our 3D culture assay, glucose uptake and metabolism determined the signaling activity and the morphology of both malignant and non-malignant mammary epithelial cells," Bissell says. "Our ability to revert the malignant phenotype in our 3D cultures shed new light on the importance of glucose uptake and metabolism in inducing oncogenic signaling."

Bissell and her Japanese collaborators believe their findings help explain why hyperglycemia in diseases such as obesity and diabetes can raise the risk of breast and other cancers. In addition, these results may also help explain why anti-diabetic drugs, such as metformin, which lower blood glucose levels, have been linked to lower cancer risks and mortality.

"Our work highlights the importance of the context in studying pathways involved in tissue-specificity and disease, and sheds additional light on the relationship between metabolic diseases and cancer" Onodera explains.

The results of this study have been reported by Onodera, Nam and Bissell, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). The paper is titled "Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways." Bissell and Onodera are both corresponding authors.


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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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