Allison Perry

New Study Shows Promise for Developing New Treatments for Breast Cancer

Published: Mar 14, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 14, 2012) — A new study by University of Kentucky researchers provides insight into developing new treatment strategies for basal-like breast cancer, commonly known as triple-negative breast cancer. This cancer is associated with early metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy and occurs at women at a younger age.

 

Tumor cells can exploit a cellular program that promotes cell migration and reduces adhesion between cells to spread to distant sites in the body. This cellular program, known as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, requires large-scale cell movement during embryonic development, tissue remodeling and wound healing. Tumor cells take over this developmental program for their cell movement during invasion and metastasis.

 

In this EMT process, expression of a cell-to-cell adhesion molecule called E-cadherin, which functions as a “molecular glue” that binds cells to one another, needs to be downregulated in order for cells to disassociate from each other and spread throughout the body. A protein called Snail acts as a master switch in the cell's nucleus to suppress E-cadherin expression and induce EMT in the cell. However, how Snail achieves this task remains unclear. Understanding this molecular mechanism will help to develop novel agents to disrupt this EMT event for treating metastatic breast cancer.

 

The study, recently published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, identified that Snail interacted with a chromatin modifying enzyme G9a and recruited G9a to the E-cadherin promoter. This action closes the gene structure of E-cadherin and thus results in the suppression of “molecular glue” E-cadherin expression. The findings establish that the interaction of Snail with G9a is an important determinant of metastasis in triple-negative breast cancer.

 

"This finding has significant clinical ramification, because chemical compounds or agents that can disrupt the interaction of Snail with G9a will have a great therapeutic potential of treating triple-negative breast cancer," said UK's Peter Zhou, principal investigator for the study. "Investigators at the Markey Cancer Center are currently exploring this idea and are keen to develop drugs that can treat triple-negative breast cancer." 

 

Triple-negative breast cancer is the worst subtype of breast cancer. This subtype of breast cancer has poor clinical outcome due to the early metastasis of tumor cells and the lack of specific drugs that target it.

 

"An understanding of the mechanism underlying the biology of metastasis in triple-negative breast cancer will provide novel therapeutic approaches to combat this life-threatening disease," Zhou said.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu.

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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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7
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
8
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
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10
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
11
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
12
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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13
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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17
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Mon
19
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21
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Thu
22
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Fri
23
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Sat
24
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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25
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
26
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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Tue
27
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
28
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
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29
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
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Sat
31
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Birdhouse Display and Auction
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
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