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: DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

Related Stories

United States, China team explore energy harvesting

5 hours ago

Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled "Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording." ...

China's struggle for water security

6 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

6 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Recommended for you

DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

21 hours ago

Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimise treatment when tumour tissue is not available, an international group of researchers ...

Tumors prefer the easy way out

Apr 17, 2015

Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever ...

Brain tumors may be new targets of Ebola-like virus

Apr 17, 2015

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult for most drugs to reach, but Yale researchers have found a promising but unlikely new ally against brain cancers—portions of a deadly virus similar to Ebola.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.