Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Cancer prognosis gene' found to control the fate of breast cells

01.12.2006
Scientists have discovered an unsuspected role for a gene known to be one of the best predictors of human breast cancer outcome.

The gene, called GATA-3, is in a family of genes that guides development of stem cells into mature cells. University of California, San Francisco researchers have now found that GATA-3 is also required for mature mammary cells to remain mature in the adult. In research focusing on mice mammary glands, they found that without GATA-3, mature cells revert to a less specialized, “undifferentiated” state characteristic of aggressive cancer.

The new finding suggests that this gene may play a key role in the development of breast cancer, the scientists report in the December 1 issue of the journal CELL.

Cancer researchers know that breast cancers with high GATA-3 expression have a good prognosis. The cancers tend to be well-differentiated – retaining estrogen receptors and other characteristics of normal mature breast cells. Cancers with low GATA-3 expression tend to be poorly differentiated, with a poor prognosis. The new research may explain why this is so.

... more about:
»GATA-3 »mammary »prognosis

“Perhaps the loss of GATA-3 and subsequent failure to maintain this mature state is what leads to loss of differentiation during cancer progression,” said Hosein Kouros-Mehr, PhD, a medical student at UCSF and lead author of the new study. “This gene is part of the instruction manual that controls how a stem cell can mature into a normal mammary cell and remain that way for its lifetime. The finding suggests that the differentiation, or maturity, of cells is a process that must be actively maintained throughout the lifetime of an organism.”

How GATA-3 controls cell fate, and its possible role in breast cancer is now the focus of the team's research.

The UCSF study is part of the work of the Bay Area Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center, one of four centers funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The UCSF scientists found that when the GATA-3 gene activity was knocked out in adult mice, the mammary ductal cells - the principal cell type in breast cancer - regressed to a less differentiated state, which is one of the hallmarks of invasive, metastatic cancer. The cells began to proliferate uncontrollably and then died within the ducts of the mammary gland, they reported.

Previously, little was known about the differentiation of the ductal cells, also known as luminal cells, which form the lining of the breast ducts that carry milk during lactation. The researchers carried out a screen of all genes active in the mammary ducts during puberty and found that GATA-3 was the most abundant transcription factor – a gene that directs the activation of other genes. They further found the GATA-3 protein in all luminal cells of mature mammary ducts, both in mice at puberty and in adult virgin mice.

“We are very excited because we now know that it is not enough for cells to become breast cells but they need an active program to remain in their specialized state and perhaps be kept from wandering off,” said Zena Werb, PhD, professor and vice chair of anatomy and senior author of the paper. “Maybe we should view cancer as telling us what cells become if they lose their ‘homesteading’ genes and then start wandering.”

The scientists hope that further investigation of the precise role of GATA-3 in breast cancer can identify new ways of understanding, diagnosing and treating the disease.

Wallace Ravven | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcerc.org/index.htm
http://www.ucsf.edu

Further reports about: GATA-3 mammary prognosis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>