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Scientists Report Key Finding in Breast Cancer Research
Date:4/16/2010

und that compared to normal mammary cells, all the breast cancer cells contained elevated levels of O-GlcNAc, as well as increased levels of the enzyme responsible for adding this sugar to protein.

When they reduced the levels of the O-GlcNAc enzyme, or blocked its activity with a drug, they reduced the growth of breast cancer and also blocked the invasion. In addition, by reducing the enzyme levels, they also reduced levels of a protein known as FoxM1, which is known to play a critical role in controlling cancer growth and spread.

The Drexel researchers and collaborators are now working to develop more potent chemicals to target the O-GlcNAc enzyme, a potential new therapeutic target for treating breast cancer and possibly other cancers.

“We looked at cancer databases and found that this enzyme is also elevated in other types of cancers.” said Reginato. “Our next step will be to study those cancers more closely to determine if we can achieve the same effect.”

About Drexel University College of Medicine
Drexel University College of Medicine has established some of the most highly innovative and rigorous academic programs available today, incorporating the University’s expertise in engineering and technology into traditional medical training. The College of Medicine is home to one of the nation’s leading centers for spinal cord research; one of the foremost centers for malaria study; and a highly regarded HIV/AIDS program with extensive NIH-funded research in prevention and therapeutic interventions. Drexel University College of Medicine has been designated a Vanguard National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and is highly respected in numerous other specialties including autism, cardiology, minimally invasive surgery, and toxicology. Visit

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