Loss of Key Enzyme May Contribute to Growth of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Date of publication: February 28, 2013

Research published in Cancer Cell suggests that loss of an enzyme known as FBP1 may play an important role in the growth of triple-negative breast cancer.

In studies involving triple-negative breast cancer cells, researchers at the University of Kentucky determined that the cells over-express (make too much of) a protein complex known as Snail-G9a-Dnmt1. This complex, in turn, inhibits an important enzyme known as FBP1.

Without FBP1, triple-negative breast cancer cells collect large amounts of glucose from the body. This fuels the cells and helps them to grow and survive even when they have limited access to oxygen.

The importance of this finding is that it may point the way toward new ways of treating triple-negative breast cancer. By changing how this metabolic pathway functions, it may be possible to slow or stop the growth of these cells.

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Dong C, Yuan T, Wu Y et al. Loss of FBP1 by Snail-Mediated Repression Provides Metabolic Advantages in Basal-like Breast Cancer. Cancer Cell. Early online publication February 28, 2013.[ Full text available here ]

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