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Alpha-2 integrin: A protein predictor of tumor spread?

JCI Journals

Mary Zutter and colleagues, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, have generated data that lead them to suggest that decreased expression of the protein alpha-2 integrin is predictive of tumor dissemination to distant sites and decreased survival in individuals with either breast or prostate cancer.

The researchers first studied the role of the protein alpha-2-beta-1 integrin (which is composed of the alpha-2 integrin protein and the beta-1 integrin protein) in cancer initiation and progression using a clinically relevant, spontaneous mouse model of breast cancer progression and metastasis (spread). Their data indicated that alpha-2-beta-1 integrin suppressed metastasis. To investigate whether the data had any immediate clinical applicability, a systematic analysis of microarray databases of human breast and prostate cancer was performed. The results of this analysis showed that decreased expression of the gene responsible for generating alpha-2 integrin was predictive of metastasis and decreased survival, leading to the suggestion that alpha-2 integrin expression could be a useful biomarker of metastatic potential and patient survival.


TITLE: The alpha-2-beta-1 integrin is a metastasis suppressor in mouse models and human cancer

Mary M. Zutter
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Phone: 615.343.1095; Fax: 615.343.7040; E-mail:

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