Navigation Links
Lactation protein suppresses tumors and metastasis in breast cancer
Date:10/25/2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A protein that is necessary for lactation in mammals inhibits the critical cellular transition that is an early indicator of breast cancer and metastasis, according to research conducted at the University at Buffalo and Princeton University and highlighted as the cover paper in November issue of Nature Cell Biology.

"This is the first confirmed report that this protein, called Elf5, is a tumor suppressor in breast cancer," explains Satrajit Sinha, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a corresponding author on the paper with Yibin Kang, PhD, in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

Photos of Sinha and the cover of Nature Cell Biology are available here: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/13766.

The researchers say the findings provide new avenues to pursue in treating and diagnosing breast cancer and possibly cancers of other organs as well. The paper includes findings from both animal and human breast cancer models.

Under normal circumstances, Elf5 is a transcription factor that controls the genes that allow for milk production.

But when the researchers used knockout mice developed at UB, in whom Elf5 was removed, they found more than just an inability to produce milk. They found that epithelial cells in the mammary glands also became more mesenchymal, that is, more like stem cells, an early harbinger of cancer, Sinha says.

"We found that when Elf5 levels are low or absent, epithelial cells become more like stem cells, morphing into mesenchymal cells, changing their shape and appearance and migrating elsewhere in the body," says Sinha. "This is how cancer spreads."

The UB-Princeton collaboration began when lead author Rumela Chakrabarti, PhD, originally a postdoctoral researcher in Sinha's laboratory at UB, took a position in the laboratory of Yibin Kang, PhD, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton, whose research focus is breast cancer metastasis. This allowed Chakrabarti to harness the expertise of the two laboratories to generate such a breakthrough finding.

"Elf5 keeps normal breast cells in their current shape and restricts their movement," says Chakrabarti. She found that the protein accomplishes this by suppressing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition by directly repressing transcription of Snail2, a master regulator of mammary stem cells known to trigger the EMT.

"Elf5 keeps Snail2 repressed, but once Elf5 is lost, then there is nothing to repress Snail 2," she explains.

The paper notes that Elf5 loss is frequently detected early in the disease at the breast hyperplasia stage, when the number of cells increases. In experiments conducted by the Princeton scientists, the researchers also found that little or no Elf5 in human breast cancer samples correlated with increased morbidity.

"It seems that loss of Elf5 is an initial event in the disease, so it could also be an important diagnostic tool," Sinha notes, which is a current focus of the UB and Princeton team.

"We want to know, how early does the loss of Elf5 occur? Could we use loss of Elf5 as a reliable diagnostic tool?" he asks.

The finding reveals the complex pathways through which breast cancers develop, he says, while also providing new avenues to pursue for diagnostics and treatments.

"Our research shows that the EMT-Snail 2 pathway is a valuable one to target for early breast cancer intervention," says Sinha, "possibly by designing something to recapture the repressive effect of Elf5 or a drug that could mimic Elf5 activity. And this is just one molecule, part of a big network. That's why we are now creating a detailed map of this molecule and its associated partners in order to give us a better idea of what to look for."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-4605
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Treating Sperm With Missing Protein Might Help Male Fertility
2. Research identifies protein that regulates key fate decision in cortical progenitor cells
3. Cervical cancer and pre-cancer cervical growths require single HPV protein
4. Scripps Research Institute scientists show protein linked to hunger also implicated in alcoholism
5. Hopkins scientists discover how an out-of-tune protein leads to muscle demise in heart failure
6. Protein linked to therapy resistance in breast cancer
7. Well-known protein reveals new tricks
8. Binding sites for LIN28 protein found in thousands of human genes
9. Immune system protein could explain pancreatitis
10. In Diabetes, Any Protein in Urine May Signal Heart Risk
11. Protein impedes microcirculation of malaria-infected red blood cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Shamangelic Healing, Sedona ... Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress Formula for brain optimization and ... products to the store is just one more way Shamangelic Healing supports people’s ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 members of the HomeTown ... of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural Health Care Relief” Bill. , ... 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate directly to a “rural hospital” ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to ... and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Conditions were ideal for ... Island Park on Sunday, with sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the ... , The 5k Run and Walk and 1-mile walk were held to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... A new study by a Johns ... hernia have better survival rates if surgery is performed early. Approximately one in ... diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal organs into the chest cavity and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016  Bayer Animal Health today announced that ... University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, is ... Communication Award (BECA). Brittany was selected from entries ... total of $70,000 in scholarship funds through the ... has provided a total of $232,500 in scholarship ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... USD 2.14 billion by 2022, according to a ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) , ... affecting the efficiency and accuracy delivered by the ... demand for novel urinalysis instruments and consumables. For ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC ... the Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference ... You are invited to listen to the live discussion ... it directly at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mr4uxgas . A recorded replay of ... the live event and accessible at the links above until ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: