Navigation Links
Study details on-off switch that promotes or suppresses breast cancer
Date:2/16/2012

Signals can tell cells to act cancerous, surviving, growing and reproducing out of control. And signals can also tell cells with cancerous characteristics to stop growing or to die. In breast cancer, one tricky signal called TGF-beta does both sometimes promoting tumors and sometimes suppressing them.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Oncogene details how tumors may flip the TGF-beta signalling switch, allowing doctors to delete the pathway entirely when it promotes tumors, and leave it intact when it's still working to suppress them.

"Basically, a tumor hijacks an embryonic program and turns it back on," says Heide Ford, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center, associate professor in the CU School of Medicine department of ob/gyn, and the paper's senior author.

Embryos grow quickly and so require cells that proliferate quickly and are able to move to other areas of the embryo. Early in human development, we depend on a transcription factor called SIX1 to create this weed-like growth and nimble movement. Then, as adults, we turn off this SIX1 pathway in most cells we no longer need explosive growth or movement and so the pathway goes to sleep in our genome.

Many breast cancers wake SIX1, and the Oncogene paper details how SIX1 flips the TGF-beta signalling switch from tumor-suppressing or tumor-promoting.

SIX1 creates small molecules called microRNAs that regulate gene activity. In this case, SIX1′s microRNAs attach to and mute the section of TGF-beta that stops cell growth. With TGF-beta silenced, the signal does nothing to stop cell growth, and instead encourages these cells to migrate into new tissues. Turning on SIX1 and its associated microRNAs is like removing the speed governor from a reckless teenager's Mustang convertible.

"High SIX1 or high microRNAs associated with SIX1 are a sign that a breast cancer is using TGF-beta signaling in a tumor-promoting way," Ford says. Patients whose tumors have high SIX1 or associated microRNAs are likely to benefit from "TGF-beta inhibitors" drugs that turn off the signal that are currently in clinical trials. Conversely, patients with low SIX1 are best left with TGF-beta signaling intact in this case, the signal is likely helping these breast cancer patients fight against their tumors.

In the future, Ford hopes to target SIX1 directly.

"Because we don't need it in most adult tissues, if we could target SIX1, we could probably inhibit the tumor on multiple fronts with few side effects," she says.

Stay tuned: now with the SIX1 target in sight, Ford and collaborators at the CU Cancer Center are developing novel drugs to stop this tumor-promoting factor.


'/>"/>
Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost ... to a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global ... By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", ... 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), a ... the development of innovative products and services, announced today ... States denied its petition to review decisions ... U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not patent ... Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision.  ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: