Big new paper out now! “Laminin N-terminus α31 is upregulated in invasive ductal breast cancer and changes the mode of tumour invasion.” available to access for free via the link.
This work, by Dr Lee Troughton as first author, has been a long time in the making. Pretty much as everything has been during COVID! It really is a testament to Lee’s perseverance in getting it out.
I have written a lay-friendly description of the work and what it means… available here
This final accepted paper is a big one; 10 main body figures, 3 supplemental figs + 2 movies, about 25 graphs and, behind those graphs, data points from hundreds of patients.
Also big kudos to Dr Danielle O’Loughlin who conducted some of the extra experiments after Lee had moved to his new position in Chicago.
There are a lot of important findings reported by this paper.
In brief, we performed the first-ever analysis of the laminin-superfamily protein LaNt a31 in cancer. This analysis identified that this really interesting wee protein is increased in breast cancer, and moreover, functional studies identified that breast cancer cells with extra LaNt a31 protein change their invasion behaviour.
The implications of these findings are that LaNt a31 is a hitherto unknown contributor to defining how cancer cells disseminate and spread.
These are an important findings. They lay the foundations to determine whether targeting this protein or blocking its function could become a new therapeutic option to help patients.