Researchers Identify Key Factor in Luminal Breast Cancer Development

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 09:42

Researchers of the IRB Barcelona have published a study that has identified a key factor in the development of luminal breast cancer.

The Translational Control of Cell Cycle and Differentiation Lab at IRB Barcelona, led by ICREA researcher Raúl Méndez published the study in the journal Science Advances, News Medical Life Sciences reports.

The IRB Barcelona research team discovered that CPEB2 is essential for protein synthesis after hormonal stimulation, the latter a process that regulates both the proper development of the mammary gland and the formation of luminal breast tumors.

To this end, the study generated new mouse models in which each of the four members of the CPEB family was inactivated. These models allowed the researchers to reveal CPEB2 as a key piece in the estrogen signaling pathway. Without this factor, the most important mediators activated through the estrogen receptor are not synthesized and, therefore, the response to hormone receptors decreases.

"The study allows us to affirm that cells proliferate less in the absence of CPEB2. We have seen in vivo that mice genetically engineered not to express CPEB2 are protected against luminal breast cancer," explains Rosa Pascual, first author of the article.

Likewise, the research reveals, using human data, that luminal breast cancer patients with low expression of CPEB2 have a better prognosis.

In this regard, if the effects detected in mice were replicated in human trials and the side effects were minimal, CPEB2 could provide a new therapeutic target.

Thus, a CPEB2 inhibitor could be a good candidate in combination with current therapies that block the estrogen signaling pathway, or as an alternative for those patients with luminal tumors that are resistant to hormone receptor-based treatments at the transcriptional level.

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