Cancer: Metabolic link to breast cancer

    Article metrics

    A protein that senses a cell's metabolic state may serve as a 'switch' to allow breast cancer to develop. This could be a molecular reason for why a high intake of calories and weight gain are strong risk factors for breast cancer.

    Kevin Gardner of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and his colleagues looked at the protein CtBP, which acts as a metabolic sensor. The protein is activated when it binds to NADH, an important indicator of a cell's metabolic activity. The researchers found that silencing CtBP expression increased expression of BRCA1, a tumour-suppressor gene associated with breast cancer. This suggests that greater activation of CtBP lowers the protective effects of BRCA1.

    Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. doi:10.1038/nsmb.1941 (2010)

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Cancer: Metabolic link to breast cancer. Nature 468, 478 (2010) doi:10.1038/468478b

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.