UIllinois researchers find new breast cancer tumor suppressor gene
Jun 30, 2011
Runx3 is a new name that be remembered in breast cancer genetics. Researchers at University of Illinois are linking the Runx3 gene with tumor suppressing capability.
The new research is published in Oncogone magazine and was led by Lin-Feng Chen and Bo Huang.
"We found mammary tumors growing in about 20 percent of the female mice lacking a copy of the Runx3 gene," Chen said.
"By regulating the cellular levels of ER-alpha, Runx3 appears to control the cell's response to circulating estrogen, thus playing an important role in the onset of breast cancer."
The scientists looked at mice and found that those with two normal copies of the Runx3 gene did not develop breast cancer.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and is published under the title "RUNX3 Acts as a Tumor Suppressor in Breast Cancer by Targeting Estrogen Receptor Alpha."
Women over the age of 40 should have yearly mammograms, in order to catch breast cancer at the earliest point possible. Breast cancer affects more women in the U.S. than any other cancer, except skin cancer.
Genetic research is paving the way for new genetic markers to detect and prevent the disease.