Now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that defects in one gene, called p18, may override the rest, eventually leading to cancer.
This discovery, combined with new laboratory techniques, will help scientists identify and test new treatments for luminal-type tumors, which account for between 70 and 80 percent of all breast cancers, but are generally slower growing than other types.
The results of the research appear in the May 2009 issue of Cancer Cell.
Defects in the p18 gene have been observed in different types of human cancer. Senior study author Yue Xiong, Ph.D., William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and biophysics, observes, "When this gene is not expressed or is deleted, cells have no braking mechanism. They will continue to grow and divide until they turn into cancer."
Xiong and his colleagues specifically targeted the role that p18 plays in the development of luminal breast cancers. Using genetically-engineered mice with deletion of p18 genes, they created a highly reliable model of human breast cancers. The researchers tested their model by analyzing the gene in samples from approximately 300 human breast cancer patients, proving that the decreased expression of the p18 gene is highly correlated with the development of luminal tumors.
"The mechanism behind these tumors is quite different from that of other forms of breast cancer. Understanding this mechanism and having a good mouse model allows us to specifically test how treatments work against these tumors, which may then benefit human patients," said Xiong.
The research was supported by the National Cancer Institute Breast SPORE program, the National Institutes of Health and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Study co-authors from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center include Xin-Hai Pei, Ph.D., research assistant professor; Feng Bai, M.D., Ph.D., research associate; Matthew D. Smith, research specialist; Jerry Usary, research associate; Cheng Fan, research associate; and Charles M. Perou, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics and pathology and laboratory medicine.
School of Medicine contact: Les Lang, (919) 966-9366, email@example.com
Lineberger center contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-7834, firstname.lastname@example.org
Les Lang | EurekAlert!
Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy