Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein that functions in normal breast may also contribute to breast cancer metastasis

16.02.2012
Paradox explored in a study reported in the American Journal of Pathology

The trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) protein protects and maintains the integrity of the epithelial surface in the normal breast. New research has found that while TFF3 protein expression is higher in well-differentiated low grade tumors and therefore associated with features of a good prognosis, it has a more sinister role in breast cancer invasion and metastasis. The report is published in the March issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

"Our findings suggest that TFF3 is regulated by estrogen and has beneficial properties in breast epithelia," says lead investigator Felicity E.B. May, PhD, of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and the Department of Pathology at Newcastle University, UK. "We propose that early during breast tumorigenesis, TFF3 retains its association with normal functionality of breast epithelial cells. Subsequently, with the loss of tumor cell differentiation, its function is subverted to promote the development of tumors and infiltration and lymph node metastasis."

To determine the role of TFF3 in breast cancer, researchers measured its level in tissue samples from normal breasts, benign breast lesions, in situ carcinomas, invasive carcinomas, and involved lymph nodes. TFF3 was expressed in the majority of benign and malignant breast lesions studied. Well-differentiated tumor types expressed higher levels of TFF3. There was a positive association between TFF3 protein expression and microvessel density, suggesting that it stimulates angiogenesis in breast tumors.

A striking finding of the study is the strength and consistency of the association between TFF3 expression and a more metastatic phenotype in invasive breast cancer. TFF3 was expressed at higher levels in primary tumors with associated metastasis, and its expression was higher in malignant cells that have metastasized away from those within the primary tumor. There appears to be a switch in the normal polarized secretion of TFF3 in invasive cancer, which allows it to exert invasion-promoting effects.

The study suggests that TFF3 may be one of the genes that mediate the various effects of estrogens in breast cancer. "The paradox remains, however, for both the estrogen receptor and TFF3, that they contribute to the normal physiology of the breast epithelium yet are involved in the progression of cancer," notes Dr. May.

Importantly, the investigators also evaluated the potential of TFF3 as a biomarker of lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis. They found that TFF3 had greater predictive power than other markers analyzed, including tumor grade, age, tumor size and type, and estrogen and progesterone receptor status. "Our study reinforces the view that TFF3 expression merits evaluation as a prognostic biomarker and as a predictive marker of response to therapy," concludes Dr. May. "It is probable that its malign effects will be mitigated by adjuvant endocrine therapy in women with hormone-responsive cancers. However, the usefulness of TFF3 as a marker of hormone responsiveness needs to be evaluated."

The article is "TFF3 Is a Normal Breast Epithelial Protein and Is Associated with Differentiated Phenotype in Early Breast Cancer but Predisposes to Invasion and Metastasis in Advanced Disease," by A.R.H. Ahmed, A.B. Griffiths, M.T. Tilby, B.R. Westley, and F.E.B. May (doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.11.022). It will appear in The American Journal of Pathology, Volume 180, Issue 3 (March 2012) published by Elsevier.

David Sampson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com

Further reports about: Cancer Pathology Protein TFF3 breast breast cancer lymph node primary tumor protein expression

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>