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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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

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
New Clues to How Bacteria Evade Antibiotics
Scientists have made an important advance in understanding how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Cosmic Factory for Making Building Blocks of Life
Research published in the journal Nature Geoscience details the discovery of a 'cosmic factory' for producing amino acids.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Scientists Develop Tools to Make More Complex Biological Machines from Yeast
Researchers have demonstrated way of creating a new type of biological "wire", using proteins that interact with DNA.
Monday, March 19, 2012
"Popeye" Proteins Help the Heart Adapt to Stress
Study help scientists to develop new treatments for abnormal heart rhythms.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Scientific News
Lemon Juice and Human Norovirus
Citric acid may prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans, scientists discovered from the German Cancer Research Center.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Structural Discoveries Could Aid in Better Drug Design
Scientists have uncovered the structural details of how some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated output.
Protein Found to Play a Key Role in Blocking Pathogen Survival
Calprotectin fends off microbial invaders by limiting access to iron, an important nutrient.
Study Identifies the Off Switch for Biofilm Formation
New discovery could help prevent the formation of infectious bacterial films on hospital equipment.
How DNA ‘Proofreader’ Proteins Pick and Edit Their Reading Material
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered how two important proofreader proteins know where to look for errors during DNA replication and how they work together to signal the body’s repair mechanism.
Protein Found to Control Inflammatory Response
A new Northwestern Medicine study shows that a protein called POP1 prevents severe inflammation and, potentially, diseases caused by excessive inflammatory responses.
X-ray Laser Experiment Could Help in Designing Drugs for Brain Disorders
Scientists found that when two protein structures in the brain join up, they act as an amplifier for a slight increase in calcium concentration, triggering a gunshot-like release of neurotransmitters from one neuron to another.
Team Identifies Structure of Tumor-Suppressing Protein
An international group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicists Mathias Lösche and Frank Heinrich have established the structure of an important tumor suppressing protein, PTEN.
Why We’re Smarter Than Chickens
Toronto researchers have discovered that a single molecular event in our cells could hold the key to how we evolved to become the smartest animal on the planet.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!