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Lack of CHFR gene expression sets stage for breast cancer
Date:6/19/2008

division.

Research details: Petty and her team studied normal and cancerous human breast tissue samples in cell culture to find out how CHFR affects certain proteins. They focused on proteins that regulate how spindles form and how chromosomes divide and form along the spindle. The team found that CHFR interacts with alpha tubulin, a protein important in forming mitotic spindles, and with a key mitotic spindle checkpoint regulator, MAD2, previously implicated in breast cancer. They found that when CHFR is absent, MAD2 does not do its job.

"Cells without CHFR not only have problems creating the structure or apparatus necessary to separate the chromosomes between the two daughter cells during cell division. They also have an impaired ability to detect and correct the problem before the chromosomes separate," says Privette.

"Prior to our findings, we knew that breast cancer cells often had the wrong number of chromosomes, but no one had identified any gene, or group of genes, that could account for the high frequency of this problem," says Privette.

The new study, she says, "provides one reason why the majority of breast cancer cells have too many chromosomes, which is a major hallmark of malignant cancers. Although a lot of work remains, and other genes are likely involved, our work on the role of CHFR in breast cancer development is an interesting and important piece of a very large puzzle."


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Contact: Anne Rueter
arueter@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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