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Protein pushes breast cancer cells to metastasize
Date:7/9/2014

eans yet."

In further experiments, they discovered that ZNF395 appears to decrease the expression of genes linked to cancer, while one segment of APP directly inhibits breast cancer's ability to metastasize.

The study raises hopes of new cancer therapies that target this "master regulator," TARBP2. "If we can understand the mechanism by which TARBP2 interacts with RNA, maybe in the future we could generate drugs that prevent it from sitting on RNA structures and shutting down the genes that suppress metastatic disease," says Tavazoie.

Just what these findings say about the relationship between cancer and neurodegeneration two of the most common diseases of old age is still unclear, he adds. "All we can say here is that APP and ZNF395, besides being associated with neurodegeneration, also seem to play a functional role in the progression of breast cancer. We can't really make any statements about why this is it could simply be that breast cancer cells use whatever mechanisms necessary to spread throughout the body, and these genes serve that purpose."

Of course, any future therapies that halt metastasis by blocking TARBP2 will have to sidestep the potential risk of promoting neurodegeneration in the process, cautions Goodarzi. All of that will have to be worked out in the lab, agrees Tavazoie.

Funding for the research was provided in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.


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Contact: Franklin Hoke
fhoke@rockefeller.edu
212-327-8998
Rockefeller University
Source:Eurekalert

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