Prof Peter Fuller AM, Dr Ann Drummond, Dr Morag Young and Prof Christine Clarke
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
The receptor for the salt-retaining hormone, aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor), is present in normal breasts. Less well recognised is that this rexeptor also responds to the stress-hormone, cortisol. Our recent study identified a potential inhibitory role for the MR receptor in breast cancer.
These findings raise exciting possibilities with respect to the regulation of cell growth. Our studies explore this uncharted territory with a view to identifying a range of novel possible targets for the treatment of breast cancer.
The project uses two approaches: firstly, exploring the response to activating the receptor in breast cancer-derived cell lines and secondly, using a mouse model in which the receptor is deleted specifically from the breast tissue.
What is the need?
MR has received little attention in the context of the biology of the breast and of breast cancer. Our studies will define the role of MR, particularly in the growth and development of mammary epithelial cells.
Our work is a unique study built upon existing data, which raises questions that have never before been answered.
It's a radical departure from the conventional approach to the analysis and understanding of breast cacer.
What impact will this research have?
There is a compelling need for innovation in breast cancer research and the unexpected identification of a role for MR in breast cancers offers the potential for exciting new approaches. Our studies will identify previously unrecognised regulatory pathways, which, along with the mineralocorticoid receptor, will provide novel treatments for breast cancer.
Our study may identify pathways and processes that offer new approaches for cancer control, not just for breast caner.
Look at the development of breast tissue in mice where the MR gene has been genetically deleted.
Establosh breast cell lines with MR and look at their growth.
Establish the response of a panel of known and candidate genes as a prelude to an unbiased study of regulated gene expression.
| Prepare the results for publication. The information will be used for another study which may identify novel regulated genes.
"Our study may identify pathways and processes that offer new approaches for cancer control, not just for breast cancer."