Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Identify Gene That Regulates Breast Cancer Metastasis

07.10.2009
Researchers at The Wistar Institute have identified a key gene (KLF17) involved in the spread of breast cancer throughout the body. They also demonstrated that expression of KLF17 together with another gene (Id1) known to regulate breast cancer metastasis accurately predicts whether the disease will spread to the lymph nodes. Previously, the function of KLF17 had been unknown.

Deaths of most breast-cancer patients are the result of metastasis, a complex, multi-step, and poorly understood process. “Identifying the gene that suppresses the spread of tumor cells and the mechanisms by which this suppression occurs can lead to the discovery of new markers of metastasis and potential targets for cancer prevention and treatment,” says Qihong Huang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at The Wistar Institute and senior author of the study.

In this study, which appears in the October on-line issue of Nature Cell Biology, Huang and colleagues introduced a genetic screen targeting 40,000 mouse genes into mammary tumor cells that do not usually spread, and then transplanted those cells to the mammary fat pads in mice where they would be expected to remain. Through RNA interference (RNAi) technology, they then reduced the expression of a metastasis-suppressor gene in five mice, one of which developed lung metastases in seven weeks. RNA retrieved from the metastasized cells corresponded to KLF17.

To determine whether KLF17 played a similar role in human breast-cancer metastasis, the researchers knocked down KLF17 expression in a tagged human-breast-cancer cell line and then transplanted these cells—along with a control group still expressing KLF17—into mammary fat pads of mice. Within eight to 10 weeks, lung metastases developed in the KLF17-deficient cells, whereas the control cell set did not metastasize, demonstrating that knockdown of KLF17 expression also promotes the spread of human breast-cancer cells.

The researchers also were interested specifically in genes whose expression were increased in KLF17 knockdown cells but decreased in KLF17 overexpressing cells or vice versa. In collaboration with Professor Louise C. Showe, Ph.D. at the Wistar Institute, they found the significant genes that met these criteria. Among them, the gene Id1 was found to be up-regulated in KLF17 knockdown cells and down-regulated in KLF17 overexpressing cells. Recent findings suggest that Id1 is deregulated in various types of cancers and is important in the development of embryonic stem cell–like phenotypes in cancer cells.

To further investigate the interactions of KLF17 and Id1, the Huang lab scanned a DNA segment of mouse Id1 and found two potential KLF17 binding sites. To examine the effect of Id1 upregulation in tumor metastasis in vivo, the team generated tagged mouse and human cell lines expressing mouse or human Id1, respectively. Following transplantation back into the mice, lung metastasis developed from Id1-upregulated cells but not in controls, demonstrating that Id1 expression promotes tumor metastasis in vivo.

Further characterization of KLF17 is an ongoing subject of study for Wistar researchers. “We are continuing to examine ways to activate KLF17 and the methods by which that process slows or prevents cancer metastasis,” Huang says.

The lead author on the study is Wistar’s Kiranmai Gumireddy, Ph.D. Study investigators also included Professor Louise C. Showe, Ph.D.; and Anping Li, from the Wistar Institute; Andres J. Klein-Szanto, M.D.; from Fox Chase Cancer Center; and Phyllis A. Gimotty, Ph.D., Dionyssios Katsaros, M.D., Ph.D.; George Coukos, M.D., Ph.D.; and Lin Zhang, M.D.; from the University of Pennsylvania.

The project was supported by the Breast Cancer Alliance, Pardee Foundation, V Foundation, Commonwealth Universal Research Foundation of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at www.wistar.org.

Susan Finkelstein | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wistar.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>