A new protein involved in breast cancer has been revealed by Dr Jeremy Drake (Victoria University) and a group of Australian and international collaborators. The study was supported by the VCB, which contributed a Victorian cohort of breast cancer samples. Early Growth Response 4 (EGR4) has been shown to play an important role in the proliferation of small cell lung cancer, however the roles of EGR4 in breast cancer remain unclear. In this study, Dr Drake and colleagues have found that a short form of the EGR4 protein, EGR4-S, is expressed in breast cancer cells. EGR4-S expression levels indicated a proliferative state and could be reduced through targeted therapy. However, a reduction of EGR4-S induced by cellular stress, has resulted in an increased metastatic tendency of the cancer. These findings indicate the potential prognostic value of the marker for cancer which is currently under further investigations.
The VCB has supplied ethically sourced specimens from 30 breast cancer patients to study the expression of the biomarkers, including snap frozen tissues for western blot and PCR, as well as tissue microarray (TMA) for high throughput immunohistochemical assessment. To read more about these findings click here.