Researchers identify new protein that triggers breast cancer

Jan 14, 2009

Canadian researchers have identified a new protein in the progression of breast cancer. According to a recent study from the Université de Montréal and the University of Alberta, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the protein ARF1 plays a critical role in cancer cell growth and the spread of tumours. Targeting this protein with drug therapy may provide hope to women with breast cancer.

"Until now, ARF1 has been associated with harmless albeit important housekeeping duties of cells," says senior author Audrey Claing, a professor of pharmacology at the Université de Montréal. "The Université de Montréal and the University of Alberta team is the first to characterize the role of ARF1 in breast cancer."

Dr. Claing and her colleagues used invasive breast cancer cell lines to study ARF1's role. These cells are sensitive to a particular growth factor, called epidermal growth factor or EGF, which has previously been shown to stimulate tumour growth and invasion. Their findings suggest that EGF works through ARF1 in these cells. In addition, when ARF1 activity was chemically blocked, breast cancer cell migration and growth was reduced. Conversely, when ARF1 was overproduced in these cells, their movement was enhanced.

"Taken together our findings reveal an unsuspected role for ARF1 and indicate that this small protein may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of invasive breast cancers," says Dr. Claing, who is a member of the Groupe d'étude des protéines membranaires as well a the Groupe de Recherche Universitaire sur le Médicament, two multidisciplinary research teams dedicated to the study of membrane protein functions and the identification of new therapeutic targets for drug discovery.

Article: The article "ARF1 controls the activation of the p13K pathway to regulate EGF dependent growth and migration of breast cancer cells," published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was authored by Pierre-Luc Boulay, Mathieu Cotton and Audrey Claing of the Université de Montréal and Paul Melancon of the University of Alberta.

Source: University of Montreal

Explore further: Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

2 hours ago

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy.

Catching the early spread of breast cancer

Mar 19, 2014

When cancer spreads from one part of the body to another, it becomes even more deadly. It moves with stealth and can go undetected for months or years. But a new technology that uses "nano-flares" has the potential to catch ...

3,200-year-old skeleton found with cancer

Mar 17, 2014

Archaeologists have found the 3,200-year-old skeleton of a man with a spreading form of cancer, the oldest example so far of a disease often associated with modern lifestyles, scientists said Monday.

Recommended for you

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

Apr 17, 2014

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...