IMAGE: Dr. Hasan Korkaya, tumor biologist at the Georgia Cancer Center and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and PhD graduate student,… view more
Credit: Phil Jones, Senior Photographer, Augusta University
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2018) – A member of a protein family known for protecting our cells also protects cancer cells in aggressive, metastatic breast cancer, scientists report.
Induction of heat shock protein 70, or HSP70, – which protects cells from stress – appears to be a key difference between difficult-to-treat triple negative breast cancer and the more responsive estrogen-positive breast cancer, says Dr. Hasan Korkaya, tumor biologist at the Georgia Cancer Center and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
“This aggressive breast cancer hijacks your normal protective physiological process to survive the toxic environment it has created,” says Korkaya.
The finding illustrates at least one way tumor necrosis factor alpha, or TNFα – which as its name implies can cause cancer cells to self-destruct – is manipulated by cancer to instead aid its survival.
“Here we show that TNFα supports aggressive breast cancer by first upregulating A20, which induces HSP70, which protects cancer cells from TNFα-induced
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