Science Signaling Podcast for 21 February 2017: Pentraxin-3 in basal-like breast cancer

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Science Signaling  21 Feb 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 467, eaam8855
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aam8855

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This Podcast features an interview with Antoine Karnoub, senior author of a Research Article that appears in the 21 February 2017 issue of Science Signaling, about how pentraxin-3 (PTX3) links increased phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling to stem cell properties in basal-like breast cancer (BLBC). BLBC is an aggressive type of breast cancer in which the tumor cells exhibit increased PI3K signaling and have stem cell–like properties. Thomas et al. found that aberrant PI3K signaling in BLBCs stimulated the expression of PTX3, which encodes a protein that functions in innate immunity. PTX3 promoted stem cell–like traits in mammary epithelial cells and stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. Conversely, decreasing the abundance of PTX3 in breast cancer cells reduced both the growth of these cells and their expression of stem cell markers. The abundance of PTX3 transcripts in breast tumors negatively correlated with patient survival, suggesting that PTX3 may be a useful biomarker for stratifying BLBC patients and that targeting PTX3 may suppress tumor growth in some BLBC patients.

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