Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Stat5 protein inhibits spread of breast cancer cells


The presence of a protein known as Stat5 prevents laboratory-grown breast cancer cells from becoming invasive and aggressive, according to new research from Georgetown University. The research, which appears in the January 27 issue of Oncogene, could one day lead to advanced therapies for breast cancer patients.

"This new insight is significant because it is the invasive behavior of breast cancer cells that leads to the formation of metastatic cancer, the most advanced and serious form of the disease," said Hallgeir Rui, MD, PhD, associate professor of oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University and principal investigator of the study.

The research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, showed that when Stat5 was active, breast cancer cells were not only less invasive, but also aggregated into clusters, resembling healthy breast cells. Conversely, loss of Stat5 stimulated invasive tumor cell activities.

"The apparent suppressive role of Stat5 in breast cancer is surprising in light of the tumor promoting role that Stat5 appears to play in leukemias, lymphomas, and prostate cancer," said Rui. "On the other hand, the new data may not be so unexpected since Stat5 is known to promote differentiation of healthy breast cells. Differentiation is a form of orderliness that is gradually lost as cancer cells become more aggressive and invasive."

Stat5 is a DNA-binding protein that regulates expression of certain genes, many of which remain unknown. During pregnancy, Stat5 is activated by the hormone prolactin, and stimulates milk production in the breast. In related research, Rui and colleagues have recently shown that Stat5 remains active in healthy breast cells in non-pregnant women. However, active Stat5 is lost in many breast cancers, especially as the tumors become more aggressive and metastatic.

Rui cautions that this research was done with cancer cells cultured in the laboratory and that additional studies are needed to determine whether Stat5 also inhibits invasion of human breast cancer cells tested in mice. These studies are underway and the outcome will determine whether new therapies could be designed to one day take advantage of the invasion-suppressive role of Stat5 in breast cancer. Because Stat5 is a protein that is located inside the cell, it cannot be administered in the form of injections to slow down breast tumor cells. However, Rui’s laboratory is exploring alternative ways of switching Stat5 back on in breast cancer.

The results of this study support related research done last year by Rui and his colleagues: In a study that was published in the June 1, 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the team identified Stat5 as a biomarker of a type of breast cancer that is associated with a favorable prognosis in patients. In fact, in breast cancer patients whose tumors had not yet spread to the nearby lymph nodes, loss of Stat5 was associated with a nearly 7.5-fold increased risk of death from recurring breast cancer. The new research now provides a mechanism to explain why Stat5 may be a useful tumor marker to predict risk and outcome in early stage breast cancer patients.

Amy DeMaria | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders
24.10.2016 | Baylor College of Medicine

nachricht New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground
24.10.2016 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>