Research ArticleCancer

Memo Is a Copper-Dependent Redox Protein with an Essential Role in Migration and Metastasis

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Science Signaling  10 Jun 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 329, pp. ra56
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004870

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Copper for Breast Cancer Metastasis

Many patients with breast cancer die from metastases, the spread of cancer cells from the primary tumor to other sites. Activation of certain proteins by oxidation, a chemical modification involving reactive oxygen species, promotes the movement of cells from one location to another. MacDonald et al. discovered that the enzyme Memo bound copper and enhanced the oxidation of proteins involved in cell movement. Mice with tumors formed from breast cancer cells lacking Memo had fewer lung metastases. High Memo abundance predicted metastasis in breast cancer patients, and copper chelation therapy, which is in clinical trials for breast cancer treatment, may inhibit this metastatic process.

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