According to a new study in the Journal of Cell Biology, the protein called fibronectin promotes the activity of estrogen in breast cancer cells. About 75% of breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive – because estrogen causes these cancers to multiply.
Too much estrogen receptor activity can cause cells to multiply rapidly, leading to tumor growth. Photo Credit: & nbspThinkstock
Washington, D.C: New research has shown how a sticky protein found outside cells can be the reason for the growth of breast cancer cells. According to the study published in the Journal of Cell Biology, the protein called fibronectin promotes the activity of estrogen in breast cancer cells. The hormone estrogen is a primary female sex hormone that plays a key role in the development of healthy cells and cancerous cells in many cases. Estrogen binds to cellular estrogen receptors that promote cell growth and survival. However, too much estrogen receptor activity can cause cells to multiply rapidly, leading to tumor growth.
The current study "Fibronectin rescues estrogen receptor α from lysosomal degradation in breast cancer cells" was led by Rocío Sampayo, a Ph.D. Marina Simian at the Instituto de Nanosistemas, Universidad Nacional de San Martin and Instituto & # 39; Angel H. Roffo, & # 39; Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina. According to the study, exposure to fibronectin prolongs the activity of estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells. The study also finds that about 75% of breast cancers are considered estrogen receptor positive because estrogen causes these cancers to multiply. Read – Breast Cancer: Women, beware of these six warning signs
"When cancer cells begin to invade the surrounding tissue, they encounter the sticky fibronectin protein, and in the normal mammary gland, the epithelial cells are not in contact with fibronectin," said Sampayo.
Sampayo and his colleagues found that fibronectin potentiates the activity of estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells. They found that when breast cancer cells are surrounded by fibronectin, estrogen receptors can prevent destruction by lysosomes – cellular garbage disposal units – and further promote cancer cell growth. The study indicated that breast cancer cells could become resistant to common endocrine therapeutic agents targeting the receptor.
Research suggests that therapeutics that interfere with the influence of fibronectin on the estrogen receptor could help treat drug-resistant breast cancers. Research also sheds light on how the network of proteins surrounding tumor cells can influence progression.