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Therapeutic and Mechanistic Perspectives of Protein Complexes in Breast Cancer

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Waterhouse, Mark P. 
Ugur, Rosie 
Khaled, Walid T. 


Breast cancer affects one in eight women making it the most common cancer in the United Kingdom, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases. One of the main challenges in treating breast cancer is the heterogeneous nature of the disease. At present, targeted therapies are available for hormone receptor- and HER2-positive tumors. However, no targeted therapies are currently available for patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). This likely contributes to the poor prognostic outcome for TNBC patients. Consequently, there is a clear clinical need for the development of novel drugs that efficiently target TNBC. Extensive genomic and transcriptomic characterization of TNBC has in recent years identified a plethora of putative oncogenes. However, these driver oncogenes are often critical in other cell types and/or transcription factors making them very difficult to target directly. Therefore, other approaches may be required for developing novel therapeutics that fully exploit the specific functions of TNBC oncogenes in tumor cells. Here, we will argue that more research is needed to identify the protein-protein interactions of TNBC oncogenes as a means for (a) mechanistically understanding the biological function of these oncogenes in TNBC and (b) providing novel therapeutic targets that can be exploited for selectively inhibiting the oncogenic roles of TNBC oncogenes in cancer cells, whilst sparing normal healthy cells.



Cell and Developmental Biology, transcription factor, breast cancer, TNBC, protein-protein interaction, protein complexes, cancer therapy, PROTAC, post-translational modification

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