Researchers identify mechanism controlling breast cancer metastasis

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Copenhagen have identified that a protein encoded by the Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and the CREB1 protein are critical to breast- and prostate-cancer-spreading cells forming a ring around the cell nucleus. The researchers expect that this Research Object which was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics can in future help to inform diagnostic tests as well as on treatment approaches.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the western world. In Sweden about 40000 women die from this disease every year.

One of the reasons for the high incidence of breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Final-stage breast cancer is most commonly reached by women who are under the influence of female hormone and are not taking prophylactic anti-cancer drugs. In some cases cancer cells may form in the nipple ducts which lead to a duct opening which is then followed by a tapering process. The tapering process may occur only after the final-stage cancer cell has spread outside the breast. The patients become susceptible to this malignant disease in the in the spider-webbing fashion.

Researchers have thought that the origin of this malignant disease can be traced to the herpes simplex virus type I. This form of herpes virus can infect women through the oral syrus and then penetrate into another organ (the genital tract) and become internalized. But the actual transmission of the virus from nerve terminal cells and cancer cell to the lymph nodes cannot be ruled out because there are complex intra-cellular mechanisms which were originally hypothesized.

Bashkopedia of Cell Biology: Kaposis sarcoma and the cell that spreads cancer.

The scientists have been looking into the mechanisms that link Kaposis sarcoma to breast cancer and other diseases. A main goal of the present study the researchers say is to clarify how a protein encoding by the Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus and the CREB1 protein are key to the breast cancer spreading. It was recently shown that the transmembrane receptor protein of the herpesvirus can take part in having once inside the cell nucleus then the cell dies.

Researchers have studied the trafficking process in a more in-depth way than previous studies for example by dividing the colorectal cancer cells into three groups: those that have recently been exposed to the traditional chemotherapy drug cotetine and phlebotomy drug nivolumab and those that receive the ketoconazole drug.

Our data show that if we give cotetine to the latter group it also killed the cells that were cultured to prevent them from maturing into cancer cells. So it gave us an even more specific and specific understanding of how Kaposis sarcoma cells control their growth and therefore spread to other organs.

Sara Olsson postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Bioengineering and Cancer Biology.

In addition the researchers were able to now study whether or not the synthetic molecules that the Acetobacter baumannii infects can also disrupt the transport of the healthy genes of the cancer cells.