02 June 2009

A drug that lowers blood pressure suppresses the work of the oncogene

The AGTR1 gene encodes the angiotensin II receptor, a hormone that regulates the contraction of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure, and also plays a role in the cancer degeneration of breast cells. The overexpression of this gene and the process of rebirth can be reversed with the help of lazartan, a drug that lowers blood pressure. Scientists from the Michigan Cancer Research Center led by Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan (Arul Chinnaiyan) showed that in mice treated with lazartan for eight weeks, tumors decreased by 30%.

This work is based on the analysis of the Oncomine database, which contains information about 3200 gene expression profiles obtained using biochips. Comparison of these data made it possible to identify genes whose expression increases many times in different types of cancer. Among the analyzed genes, overexpression of the ERBB2 gene, also known as HER2, encoding one of the epidermal growth factors, is most common in breast cancer. This gene is active in 25-30% of breast cancer cases and is blocked with directed herceptin therapy.

The second place belongs to the AGTR1 gene, its expression is increased in 10-20% of cases. It is noteworthy that the AGTR1 gene is hyperactive only in ERBB2-negative tumors expressing the estrogen receptor. In some tumors, the expression level of AGTR1 is 100 times higher than normal.

Studies conducted on cell cultures and mice have shown that the administration of losartan leads to a decrease in AGTR1-positive tumors, but does not affect the growth of AGTR1-negative ones.

The relevance of the work is due to the fact that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women: sooner or later every twentieth woman on Earth gets sick with it. The results obtained are particularly significant, since we are talking about the use of a drug that has already passed clinical trials and exists on the market. For the use of losartan for the treatment of cancer, additional tests must be performed, but this will require minimal financial and time costs.

Article by Rhodes D. et al. ”AGTR1 overexpression defines a subset of breast cancer and confers sensitivity to losartan, an AGTR1 antagonist" published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on Physorg: Researchers find breast cancer gene that's blocked by blood pressure drug02.06.2009

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