Breast Cancer Interaction With Mammary Stem Cells Revealed in New Study

Breast Cancer Interaction With Mammary Stem Cells Revealed in New Study
mammary stem cellsDuring pregnancy, a rapid and controlled expansion of mammary stem cells (MaSCs) is induced to produce milk-producing cells essential to lactation. The pool of mammary stem cells is required to remodel breast and lactating glands early during pregnancy and, once milk production begins, are normally switched off. In a study entitled “Integrin αvβ3 Drives Slug Activation and Stemness in the Pregnant and Neoplastic Mammary Gland” and published in Developmental Cell, researchers found a new connection between pregnancy and breast cancer by showing that cancer cells are capable of hijacking stem-cell activation signals to induce aggressiveness and growth of tumors. “This normal pathway ends up contributing to the progression of cancer,” Jay Desgrosellier, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and first author of the study said in a University press release. The team at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center  found that integrin αvβ3 (CD61) expression in MaSCs, which mediates pregnancy-induced MaSC expansion, is manipulated by cancer cells,
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