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Thomas Jefferson University researchers discover new pathways that drive metastatic prostate cancer
Date:12/21/2012

PHILADELPHIAElevated levels of Cyclin D1b could function as a novel biomarker of lethal metastatic disease in prostate cancer patients, according to a pre-clinical study published ahead of print on December 21 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

The group, headed by Karen E. Knudsen, Ph.D., Professor and Hilary Koprowski Chair, Departments of Cancer Biology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and Deputy Director for Basic Science at the KCC, found that Cyclin D1b, a variant of the cell cycle regulator Cyclin D1a, functions independently of the cell cycle to promote metastasis in both early and late stage prostate cancer.

Rather, Cyclin D1b, but not Cyclin D1a, regulates a large gene network, the researchers found, which was shown to cooperate with androgen receptor (AR) signaling to fuel metastatic progression in multiple models of prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that Cyclin D1b expression is elevated in early stages of prostate cancer (in up to 30% of primary disease), and researchers have now demonstrated that this occurs more frequently in late stage castration-resistant prostate cancer: up to 80%.

Cyclin D1b expression is also highly correlated with that of the pro-metastatic gene SNAI2 (Slug), which the group identified as regulated by cooperative signaling between Cyclin D1b and AR.

"Numerous clinical and pre-clinical studies have effectively demonstrated that AR signaling is critical for progression to metastatic disease, but our knowledge of AR targets which can induce metastatic phenotypes is limited," said Dr. Knuds
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Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert  

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