Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Find New Drug Target in Breast Cancer

Published: Monday, May 23, 2011
Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2011
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have identified a new protein involved in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer which could be a target for new treatments.

Researchers have identified a new protein involved in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer which could be a target for new treatments, they report in the journal Nature Medicine.

In a mouse model of breast cancer, blocking production of the protein using genetic techniques caused tumours to shrink. The scientists are now looking for new drugs which could achieve a similar effect.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, affecting about 46,000 women each year. More than two thirds of breast tumours contain oestrogen receptors, meaning that they require the hormone oestrogen to grow and they can be treated with anti-oestrogen drugs such as tamoxifen. However, many patients develop resistance to these treatments so that the drugs eventually cease to be effective.

In today's study, researchers from Imperial College London found that blocking a protein called LMTK3 in human cancer cells that were resistant to tamoxifen made the cells more responsive to the drug. In a mouse model of the disease, using genetic techniques to block the production of LMTK3 led to a significant decrease in the size of breast tumours.

The researchers also measured levels of LMTK3 in tissue samples taken from women with breast cancer. They found that women who had higher levels of LMTK3 in their tumours tended to live less long and were less likely to respond to hormone therapy. In addition, they found that particular mutations in the gene coding for LMTK3 also correlated with how long a patient would survive.

"Anti-oestrogen drugs have been very successful at allowing women with breast cancer to live longer, but resistance to these drugs is a common problem," said Professor Justin Stebbing, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, the study's senior author. "Our results suggest that the action of LMTK3 on the oestrogen receptor has a crucial role in the development of drug resistance.

"We're now looking for drugs that can block the effect of LMTK3, which we could hopefully give to patients to prevent them from becoming resistant to hormone therapy. It will probably take at least five to ten years to develop new treatments that are safe to be used in humans."

Evidence from the laboratory suggests that resistance to hormone therapy might occur when the oestrogen receptor is modified by enzymes called kinases. The team identified LMTK3 as a potential treatment target by screening for kinases that affect how cancer cells respond to oestrogen.

The researchers also compared DNA sequences in the gene coding for LMTK3 in humans and chimpanzees, because chimpanzees are not susceptible to oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. They found that substantial differences have evolved in these sequences between the two species.

"It's quite intriguing that humans and chimps have evolved these differences in the LMTK3 gene, since related genes are very similar between the two species," said Dr Georgios Giamas, who designed and led the study, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London.

"We could speculate that evolutionary changes in this gene might have given humans some unknown advantage, but also have made us more susceptible to breast cancer."

The research was funded by donations from private individuals and a grant from the US National Institutes of Health. Two of the authors are supported the Imperial College Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), funded by Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Crucial Reaction for Vision Revealed
Scientists have tracked the reaction of a protein responding to light, paving the way for a new understanding of life's essential reactions.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Bacterial Motors Unveiled
Nanoscopic 3D imaging has revealed how different bacteria have geared their tiny propeller motors for a wide range of swimming abilities.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Infant Milk Formula Does Not Reduce Risk of Eczema and Allergies, Says New Study
Researchers at Imperial College London have found a type of baby formula does not reduce allergy risk - despite previous claims to the contrary.
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Flu Virus Hijacking Tactics Revealed
Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered how flu viruses 'hijack' cell machinery when they infect the body.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
Discovery of Trigger for Bugs’ Defences Could Lead to New Antibiotics
New research shows that sigma54 holds a bacterium’s defences back until it encounters stress.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Breakthrough Could Lead to New Antibiotics
Scientists have exposed a chink in the armour of disease-causing bugs, with a new discovery about a protein that controls bacterial defences.
Friday, August 21, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Protein That Boosts Immunity to Viruses and Cancer Discovered
Researchers now developing a gene therapy designed to boost the infection-fighting cells.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Biomarker Discovery Sheds New Light on Heart Attack Risk of Arthritis Drugs
Drug may be given a new lease of life.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
First Pictures of BRCA2 Protein Show How it Works to Repair DNA
Researchers purified the protein and used electron microscopy to reveal its structure.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Protein ‘Map’ Could Lead to Potent New Cancer Drugs
Findings will help scientists to design drugs that could target NMT enzyme.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
New Developments in Big, Open Access Data for Dementia
Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged a UK commitment to discover new drugs and treatment that could slow down the on-set of dementia or even deliver a cure by 2025.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
New Discovery Gives Hope that Nerves Could be Repaired After Spinal Cord Injury
Research highlights the role of a protein called P300/CBP-associated factor.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Scientists Design Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer Cell Growth
New protein blocks the hormone receptors and consequently stops cancer cells from growing in the laboratory.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Designer Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer Cell Growth
Researchers are creating a "designer" protein that could be effective at treating prostate cancer when other therapies fail.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Scientific News
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Designing Drugs with a Whole New Toolbox
Researchers develop methods to design small, targeted proteins with shapes not found in nature.
Protein Studies Discover Molecular Secrets
Two protein studies have mapped proteins that reveal the secrets to recycling carbon and healing cells.
Tapping Evolution to Improve Biotech Products
Researchers show how 'ancestral sequence reconstruction' can be used to guide engineering of a blood clotting protein.
New Weapon Against Hard-to-Treat Bacterial Infections
Using peptides, researchers have been able to prevent drug-resistance bacteria from forming abscesses.
Death-or-Repair Switch Protein Identified
Researchers have identified a protein that plays a key role in the decision process of cell damage repair or cellular suicide.
Gene Regulation in Brain May Explain Repetitive Behaviors in Rett Syndrome Patients
The research could be a key step in developing treatments to eliminate symptoms that drastically impair the quality of life in Rett patients.
CES Score May Predict Response to Cancer Treatment
Researchers identify new type of biomarker that helps predict prognosis and response to several types of cancer treatment.
Gene Deletion Reveals Cell Secrets
Researchers have deleted 174 genes in yeast to analyse the effect of individual gene deletion.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!