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Previously unseen switch regulates breast cancer response to estrogen
Date:5/8/2008

he estrogen receptor.

Women who inherit a mutation in the gene that encodes BRCA1 have up to an 80 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, several times the risk of those who don't have it, according to the National Cancer Institute. BRCA1 mutations are estimated to account for about a third of all inherited breast cancers and roughly 2-3 percent of all breast cancers.

Scientists are beginning to look for drugs that could modulate methylation enzymes. Vertino says that methylation probably affects several other proteins similar to the estrogen receptor.

"I expect this will be just the tip of the iceberg," she says. "Methylation may be just as common as other protein modifications, and even more complicated."


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Contact: Vince Dollard
vdollar@emory.edu
404-778-4580
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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