Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New molecular mechanism in breast cancer development

Date:
November 16, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
About 10 percent of breast cancers are due to mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, the molecular mechanism by which alteration of these genes greatly increases the risk of cancer is not fully understood. In a new study, an international team has made an important step towards revealing the underlying pathways.

About 10% of breast cancers are due to mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, the molecular mechanism by which alteration of these genes greatly increases the risk of cancer is not fully understood. In a new study, published Nov. 15 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, an international team led by Miquel Àngel Pujana, of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and Christopher Maxwell, now at the Child and Family Research Institute, has made an important step towards revealing the underlying pathways.

Related Articles


The researchers found a key interaction between BRCA1 and another protein called RHAMM (encoded by the HMMR gene). These two proteins act on a previously unknown molecular mechanism that regulates epithelial cell polarity. The researchers have shown that BRCA1 and RHAMM control the normal development of breast epithelial cells. If one or both of these genes have mutations, then the normal architecture and development of breast cells is altered in ways that increase the risk of a specific tumor type appearing.

"BRCA1 mutation carriers are at high risk for breast cancer," said Pujana, "but these mutations exhibit variable penetrance, which can be in part explained by other genetic factors such as the identified variant in HMMR." A common genetic variant of HMMR slightly increases (approximately 1.1-fold) the risk of breast cancer in women carrying BRCA1 mutations. "Therefore, by itself, this variant does not justify a genetic analysis," explains Pujana.

But as shown by other CIMBA (Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2) investigators, if other mutations are added which also slightly modify the risk -- and about twenty are known now -- then "it may vary considerably the risk of developing breast cancer in these women. Depending on the combination of genetic modifier variants that are inherited, the risk of developing cancer might be increased or decreased. " The researchers initially discovered the effect of HMMR by genetic analysis of affected families. Then they went on to analyse the roles of these genes in breast cells and their effects when mutated or functionally perturbed. They found that RHAMM and BRCA1 interact with proteins known to control key aspects of cell polarity and the cell division cycle, perhaps explaining why certain types of breast cancer have characteristic cell morphology and cell proliferation characteristics.

The investigation of these genetic variants is directed towards developing more accurate genetic models that can predict the risk of cancer in women who carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, and thus to help them to take appropriate preventive measures. Variants are also associated with different types of tumors, with important implications for patient prognosis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maxwell CA, Benítez J, Gómez-Baldó L, Osorio A, Bonifaci N, et al. Interplay between BRCA1 and RHAMM Regulates Epithelial Apicobasal Polarization and May Influence Risk of Breast Cancer. PLoS Biology, 2011; 9 (11): e1001199 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001199

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "New molecular mechanism in breast cancer development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175637.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, November 16). New molecular mechanism in breast cancer development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175637.htm
Public Library of Science. "New molecular mechanism in breast cancer development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175637.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins