McGill University researchers have uncovered the crucial role played by the enzyme focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in the onset of breast cancer. The research, led by Dr. William Muller – along with colleagues from McGill and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Scotland – was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Using transgenic mice with pre-existing cancers, the McGill team was able to disable the function of FAK in the mammary gland. “When we did that, we basically blocked tumour progression in our mouse model,” said Dr. Muller, Professor of Biochemistry at McGill, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology and a researcher with the Molecular Oncology Group at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). “This shows that FAK, which was already linked to tumour growth in skin carcinomas, is very critical for tumour progression from a pre-malignant to a malignant state in the mammary tumour system.”
Release date: November 29, 2007
Source: McGill University
Filed Under: Drug Discovery