Navigation Links
Scripps Florida scientists uncover inflammatory circuit that triggers breast cancer

JUPITER, FL, February 23, 2012 Although it's widely accepted that inflammation is a critical underlying factor in a range of diseases, including the progression of cancer, little is known about its role when normal cells become tumor cells. Now, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shed new light on exactly how the activation of a pair of inflammatory signaling pathways leads to the transformation of normal breast cells to cancer cells.

The study, led by Jun-Li Luo, an assistant professor at Scripps Florida, was published online before print by the journal Molecular Cell on February 23, 2012.

The scientists' discovery points to the activation of a self-sustaining signaling circuit that inhibits a specific RNA, a well-known tumor suppressor that helps limit the spread of cancer (metastasis). Therapies that disable this circuit and halt this miRNA repression could have the potential to treat cancer.

The Spark that Ignites Trouble

In the new study, scientists identified the specific pathways that transform breast epithelial cells into active cancer cells.

The researchers found immune/inflammatory cells ignite the transient activation of MEK/ERK and IKK/NF-kB pathways; the MEK/ERK pathway then directs a consistent activation of a signaling circuit in transformed cells. This consistent signaling circuit maintains the malignant state of the tumor cells.

Luo compares this process to starting a cara car battery starts the engine much like the transient signal activation turns on the consistent signal circuit. Once the engine is started, it no longer needs the battery.

The scientists go on to show that the initial activation of these pathways also activates IL6, a cytokine involved in a number of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including cancer. IL6 acts as a tumor initiator, sparking the self-sustaining circuit in normal breast cells necessary for the initiation and maintenance of their transformed malignant state.

In establishing that self-sustaining signal circuit, IL6 represses the action of microRNA-200c, which is responsible for holding down inflammation and cell transformation. Since enhanced microRNA-200c expression impairs the growth of existing cancer cells and increases their sensitivity to anti-tumor drugs, compounds that disable microRNA-200c repression have the potential to act as a broad-spectrum therapeutic.

Interestingly, the new findings dovetail with the "multiple-hits theory" of tumor formation, which posits that once normal cells in the human body accumulate enough pre-cancerous mutations, they are at high-risk for transformation into tumor cells. While the newly described initial pathway activation is momentary and not enough to cause any lasting changes in cell behavior, it may be just enough to tip the cell's transformation to cancer, especially if it comes on top of an accumulation of other cellular changes.


Contact: Mika Ono
Scripps Research Institute

Related medicine news :

1. Scripps research scientists demonstrate effective new biopsy in a blood test to detect cancer
2. Scripps research scientists illuminate cancer cells survival strategy
3. Jeopardy! winnings spur IBM and Scripps Research Institute collaboration to fight against malaria
4. Scripps Research scientists identify new class of antimalarial compounds
5. Scripps Research scientist receives $1 million research grant from Novo Nordisk
6. Scripps Florida scientist awarded $2.2 million grant to study hepatitis C
7. Scripps research scientist wins $3.6 million NIH Method to Extend Research in Time award to study alcoholism in Native Americans
8. Scripps Health and Sanford-Burnham to collaborate to advance new cancer treatments
9. Scripps Research scientists reveal how white blood cell promotes growth and spread of cancer
10. Scripps Research scientists define cellular pathway essential to removing damaged mitochondria
11. Scripps Translational Science Institute joins Jackson Laboratory tumor consortium
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Scripps Florida scientists uncover inflammatory circuit that triggers breast cancer
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like ... , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. ... OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon ... programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, ... unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the assets of Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains ... low-wattage personal heaters that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. ... both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities ... , Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... decades of music, friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled ... 5-6. , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Developmental, commercial, ... role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ... commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies all play a ... says GBI Research . --> ... play a key role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 25, 2015 The hope ... repeated failure of IVF cycles. After failure of over ... and had lost all hopes that she would be able to conceive ever. ... child conceived after failure of over 15 IVF cycles. ... before they decided to take one last attempt with Gaudium IVF ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical ... in an effort to quickly uncover new insights, tactics ... --> --> However, organizations ... market research project and ensure that all rules and ... industry standards. Another major barrier to efficiently launching market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: