Protein discovery could pave way for new breast cancer therapy

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 06, 2011 12:00 hrs

The discovery that the Tyk2 protein helps suppress the growth and metastasis of breast tumors could lead to a possible new target for breast cancer therapy, says a new study.

Qifang Zhang and Andrew Larner, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), and colleagues from VCU, Temple University School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA), Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland), and Miyazaki University (Japan), demonstrated that mice lacking Tyk2 tyrosine kinase that are injected with breast cancer cells exhibit enhanced breast tumor growth and metastasis compared to mice with normal Tyk2 protein expression.

The authors conclude that altered Tyk2 expression affects the ability of the animals' immune systems to respond to the tumor challenge.

"This study suggests that boosting Tyk2 activity may be beneficial for arresting breast tumor growth," said Ganes C. Sen, PhD, Chairman, Department of Molecular Genetics, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research.

The finding is described in Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research. (ANI)

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