KeepHealthCare.ORG – New protein that can predict poor survival of breast cancer patients identified
A new protein that is strongly linked to metastatic breast cancer patients’ survival has been identified. ZMYND8 protein can predict poor survival of patients with breast cancer. High levels of the protein ZMYND8 are correlated with poor survival in breast cancer patients
Breast cancer |Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Washington DC: A recent study has identified a new protein that is strongly linked to metastatic breast cancer patients’ survival. The study carried out by the researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center said the discovery of the protein could act as a target for future therapies. The study discovered a protein called ZMYND8 that is frequently found in all molecular subtypes of breast tumours and its level is much higher in metastatic breast tumours. ZMYND8 protein can predict poor survival of patients with breast cancer.
“High levels of the protein ZMYND8 are correlated with poor survival in breast cancer patients,” said Dr Weibo Luo, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Pharmacology, and with the Harold C Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Previous research has shown that breast cancer cells are more aggressive in an oxygen-deprived, or hypoxic, environment. A protein family called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) controls responses to hypoxia, switching on pathways that lead to cancer cell growth and spread. Read – Breast cancer therapy may not pose higher risk of heart disease: Study
“Our research shows that ZMYND8 is a regulator that activates hundreds of HIF-dependent oncogenes in breast cancer cells,” Luo said.
The current study of mouse model showed that depletion of ZMYND8 blocks the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and leads to breast cancer cell death. “Our studies uncovered a feedback loop that amplifies HIF-controlled oncogenes to drive breast tumour malignancy,” said researcher Yingfei Wang.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other sites in the body. Tumour metastasis is frequently found in breast cancer patients and causes more than 90% of cancer death. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this deadly disease.
The authors note their study reveals ZMYND8 protein as a new molecular target for the diagnosis and treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
The research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.