A Minimal Fragment of MUC1 Mediates Growth of Cancer CellsReport as inadecuate




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The MUC1 protein is aberrantly expressed on many solid tumor cancers. In contrast to its apical clustering on healthy epithelial cells, it is uniformly distributed over cancer cells. However, a mechanistic link between aberrant expression and cancer has remained elusive. Herein, we report that a membrane-bound MUC1 cleavage product, that we call MUC1*, is the predominant form of the protein on cultured cancer cells and on cancerous tissues. Further, we demonstrate that transfection of a minimal fragment of MUC1, MUC1*1110, containing a mere forty-five 45 amino acids of the extracellular domain, is sufficient to confer the oncogenic activities that were previously attributed to the full-length protein. By comparison of molecular weight and function, it appears that MUC1* and MUC1*1110 are approximately equivalent. Evidence is presented that strongly supports a mechanism whereby dimerization of the extracellular domain of MUC1* activates the MAP kinase signaling cascade and stimulates cell growth. These findings suggest methods to manipulate this growth mechanism for therapeutic interventions in cancer treatments.



Author: Sanjeev Mahanta, Shawn P. Fessler, Jaehong Park, Cynthia Bamdad

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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