Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Reveals gene linked to breast cancer can suppress tumors


Finding identifies how estrogen-blocking ability of gene inhibits tumor growth

A UC Irvine researcher has found a novel tumor- suppressor function for a gene that, when mutated, often triggers breast cancer in women. The work also provides further evidence about how estrogen helps activate a disease that afflicts thousands of American women each year.

Dr. Ellis Levin, a professor of medicine, biochemistry and pharmacology at UCI, and colleagues at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center and Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center have identified how the healthy BRCA1 gene prevents the growth and survival of breast cancer cells. The gene accomplishes this by keeping estrogen and growth factor molecules from sending chemical messages through specific signaling pathways on the surface of breast cancer cells – signals that can cause a tumor to grow.

When the BRCA1 gene is mutated, however, it can no longer block this signaling activity from stimulating the growth and survival of cancer cells. The findings suggest that drugs developed to block estrogen signaling at these specific pathways can help curb the incidence of breast cancer in women. The study appears in the July issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Levin said that the findings give further insight into how estrogen can interact with mutant BRCA1 to promote the development of breast cancer. This discovery is important, he added, because women who take estrogen supplements for more than five years to treat menopause symptoms increase their chances of developing breast cancer by about 25 percent.

“The therapeutic goal is to develop estrogen inhibitors that would prevent these types of undesirable effects, yet preserve the positive effects that prevent osteoporosis or hot flashes. Alternatively, enhancing or restoring normal BRCA1 protein function is another approach to consider in women with such BRCA1 mutations,” said Levin, who also is chief of endocrinology at UCI and at the VA Medical Center.

It has been long established that mutations in BRCA1 genes strongly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men; up to 80 percent of women who have this mutated gene ultimately develop breast cancer. Healthy BRCA1 genes are involved with repairing DNA damage, promoting chromosome stability and regulating cell growth activity, but this study has identified a novel and potentially important role as a tumor suppressor. The researchers only studied the tumor-suppressing role of BRCA1 in breast cancer.

Mahnaz Razandi and Ali Pedram of UCI and Dr. Eliot Rosen of Georgetown assisted with the study. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Avon Products Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation provided support.

Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Make way for the mini flying machines
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>