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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lineberger center contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-7834, email@example.com
Les Lang | EurekAlert!
Research team creates new possibilities for medicine and materials sciences
22.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent
22.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences