Navigation Links
Scientists find new drug target in breast cancer
Date:5/22/2011

Researchers have identified a new protein involved in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer which could be a target for new treatments, they report today in the journal Nature Medicine.

In a mouse model of breast cancer, blocking production of the protein using genetic techniques caused tumours to shrink. The scientists are now looking for new drugs which could achieve a similar effect.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, affecting about 46,000 women each year. More than two thirds of breast tumours contain oestrogen receptors, meaning that they require the hormone oestrogen to grow and they can be treated with anti-oestrogen drugs such as tamoxifen. However, many patients develop resistance to these treatments so that the drugs eventually cease to be effective.

In today's study, researchers from Imperial College London found that blocking a protein called LMTK3 in human cancer cells that were resistant to tamoxifen made the cells more responsive to the drug. In a mouse model of the disease, using genetic techniques to block the production of LMTK3 led to a significant decrease in the size of breast tumours.

The researchers also measured levels of LMTK3 in tissue samples taken from women with breast cancer. They found that women who had higher levels of LMTK3 in their tumours tended to live less long and were less likely to respond to hormone therapy. In addition, they found that particular mutations in the gene coding for LMTK3 also correlated with how long a patient would survive.

"Anti-oestrogen drugs have been very successful at allowing women with breast cancer to live longer, but resistance to these drugs is a common problem," said Professor Justin Stebbing, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, the study's senior author. "Our results suggest that the action of LMTK3 on the oestrogen receptor has a crucial role in the development of drug resistance.

"We're now looking for drugs that can block the effect of LMTK3, which we could hopefully give to patients to prevent them from becoming resistant to hormone therapy. It will probably take at least five to ten years to develop new treatments that are safe to be used in humans."

Evidence from the laboratory suggests that resistance to hormone therapy might occur when the oestrogen receptor is modified by enzymes called kinases. The team identified LMTK3 as a potential treatment target by screening for kinases that affect how cancer cells respond to oestrogen.

The researchers also compared DNA sequences in the gene coding for LMTK3 in humans and chimpanzees, because chimpanzees are not susceptible to oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. They found that substantial differences have evolved in these sequences between the two species.

"It's quite intriguing that humans and chimps have evolved these differences in the LMTK3 gene, since related genes are very similar between the two species," said Dr Georgios Giamas, who designed and led the study, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London.

"We could speculate that evolutionary changes in this gene might have given humans some unknown advantage, but also have made us more susceptible to breast cancer."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sam Wong
sam.wong@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-2198
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
2. Scientists identify novel inhibitor of human microRNA
3. Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
4. MU scientists go green with gold, distribute environmentally friendly nanoparticles
5. Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield
6. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
7. MU scientists see how HIV matures into an infection
8. Earth scientists keep an eye on Texas
9. Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
10. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
11. Scientists Find new migratory patterns for Mediterranean and Western Atlantic bluefin tuna
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/6/2017)...  SomaLogic announced today that it has agreed ... iCarbonX, the China -based company ... Health Ecosystem that can define each person,s ,digital ... behavioral and psychological data, the Internet and artificial ... will provide proteomics data and applications expertise to ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, provider ... introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven program ... showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show ... In the U.S., the World Health Organization ... than two-thirds of adults who are overweight or obese. ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 2016   Valencell , the leading innovator ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving ... today the launch of a new, highly accurate ... includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey multi-sensor ... sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... MD (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... the market’s rapid adoption of Limfinity® Cloud, RURO has enhanced the platform ... cross-continent user groups, federated login, rapid data searching, and more. In addition ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... -- Brian Mehling, M.D., world-renowned stem cell researcher, board-certified orthopedic ... will be attending the 47th Annual World Economic Forum ... 17-20, 2017. This will be Dr. Mehling,s fifth year ... this year,s forum is Responsive and Responsible Leadership; over ... for fostering greater social inclusion and human development. One-third ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... For many fledging startups, good advice ... young businesses face. With the second installment of Quorum’s newest signature program, Entrepreneur ... Founder and Principal of interactive design agency, P’unk Ave. , For the ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... , Jan. 11, 2017 AnaptysBio, Inc., ... candidates focused on unmet medical needs in inflammation, ... as chief financial officer.  Mr. Piscitelli will ... as well as overseeing the company,s accounting and ... pleased to welcome Dominic to the senior management ...
Breaking Biology Technology: