What Does Breast Cancer Have to Do With Skin Stem Cells?

BRCA1 is a gene that plays a huge role in breast cancer. Particular mutations in BRCA1 predispose women increased risks of breast cancer cervical, uterine, pancreatic, and colon cancer and men to increased risks of pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, and early-onset prostate cancer.

BRCA1 encodes a protein that helps repair damage to chromosomes. When this protein product does not function properly, cells cannot properly repair acquired chromosomal damage, and they die or become transformed into cancer cells.

What does this have to do with stem cells? A study led by Cédric Blanpain from the Université libre de Bruxelles showed that BRCA1 is critical for the maintenance of hair follicle stem cells.

Peggy Sotiropoulou and her colleagues in Blanpain’s laboratory showed that when BRCA1 is deleted, hair follicle cells how very high levels of DNA damage and cell death. This accumulated DNA damaged drives the follicle stem cells to divide furiously until they burn themselves out. This is in contrast to the other stem cell populations in the skin, particularly those in the sebaceous glands and epidermis, which are maintained and seem unaffected by deletion of BRCA1.

Sotiropoulou said of these results: “We were very surprised to see that distinct types of cells residing within the same tissue may exhibit such profoundly different responses to the deletion of the same crucial gene for DNA repair.”

This work provides some of the first clues about how DNA repair mechanisms in different types of adult stem cells are employed at different stages of stem cells activation. Blanpain and his group is determining if other stem cells in the body are also affected by the loss of BRCA1. These results might elucidate why mutations in BRCA1 causes cancer in the breast and ovaries, but not in other tissues.

Published by


Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, MI. Have been at SAU since 1999. Author of The Stem Cell Epistles. Before that I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA (1997-1999), and Sussex University, Falmer, UK (1994-1997). I studied Cell and Developmental Biology at UC Irvine (PhD 1994), and Microbiology at UC Davis (MA 1986, BS 1984).

61 thoughts on “What Does Breast Cancer Have to Do With Skin Stem Cells?”

  1. Pingback: URL
  2. Pingback: tatuaggio
  3. Pingback: Empower Network
  4. Pingback: weab
  5. Pingback: article source
  6. Pingback: find more
  7. Pingback: Tralee
  8. Pingback: additional info
  9. Pingback: parfums
  10. Pingback: achat follower
  11. Pingback: Inkasso ABC
  12. Pingback: click here
  13. Pingback: ebooks
  14. Pingback: lehtitilaus
  15. Pingback: Laser Jammer
  16. Pingback: Get More Info
  17. Pingback: wird
  18. Pingback: spiel
  19. Pingback: Rosendo Falkenberg
  20. Pingback: My Vegas Business
  21. Pingback: de mae para mae
  22. Pingback: Payday Loans Texas
  23. Pingback: source
  24. Pingback: loans
  25. Pingback: about seo
  26. Pingback: articles online
  27. Pingback: money spells
  28. Pingback: test and tag
  29. Pingback: love spells
  30. Pingback: vga to hdmi cable
  31. Pingback: link

Comments are closed.