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Grove Professor receives $1.5MM to study breast cancer therapies
Date:11/26/2012

nti-estrogen or aromatase inhibitors) or targeted therapies such as the monoclonal antibody trastuzamab (Herceptin), respectively.

Professor Auguste plans to develop personalized treatment approaches for four metastatic breast cancer populations: black women, white women, women over 40 and women under 40. Epidemiological studies have found that white women are more likely than black women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, however black women are more likely to die from it. In addition, women under 40 are more prone to aggressive forms of the disease.

She expects to characterize the surface density and proximity of two receptors that govern cell recruitment: CXC chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) and CC chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7). This information will then be used to synthesize complementary engineered liposomes (CELs) that cooperatively bind CXCR4 and CCR7 and deliver short interfering RNA (siRNA) to knock down lipocalin-2 (Lcn2), which has been shown to induce the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).

Lipocalins are a family of proteins that transport small, hydrophobic molecules such as steroids, retinoids and lipids. A growing body of evidence points to the EMT playing a role in metastasis of cancers.

Professor Auguste hopes to produce CEL therapies that will enhance cooperative binding to each cell type and reduce cell migration and invasion. Homogeneous and biphasic CELs are designed to complement the relative surface density and organization of receptors on breast cancer cells. They do so by allowing conjugated antibodies to rearrange on the surface or by clustering antibodies within gel-phase lipid domains.

"The binding event is regulated by multiple receptors. We need to understand how multiple proteins work together to engineer adhesion," she explained. "If we can understand that, we can hopefully go from a non-adhesive vehicle to one that is adhesive in order to trigger a favorable response. The ke
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Contact: Ellis Simon
esimon@ccny.cuny.edu
212-650-6460
City College of New York
Source:Eurekalert

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