Research ArticleBreast Cancer

KLF6-SV1 Drives Breast Cancer Metastasis and Is Associated with Poor Survival

Science Translational Medicine  23 Jan 2013:
Vol. 5, Issue 169, pp. 169ra12
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004688

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A New TWIST on Breast Cancer Sprawl

Suburban sprawl is a complex, multistep process whereby “healthy” land becomes inundated with fast food chains, strip malls, and large parking lots. Yet, what drives sprawl is unclear—Do car-centric residential communities pop up close to businesses, or are the businesses merely opening where the consumers are? Cancer metastasis can be thought of as another type of sprawl, and although we can describe changes associated with metastasis, the drivers are equally unclear. Now, Hatami et al. provide insight into one of the potential drivers of breast cancer metastasis.

The authors found that KLF6-SV1, which is a variant of a tumor suppressor gene, was associated with increased metastatic potential and poor survival in breast cancer patients. They then took their studies to the next step, trying to figure out how exactly KLF6-SV1 contributed to metastasis. Overexpressing KLF6-SV1 contributed to an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is thought to be important for cancer cells to leave the primary tumor. Indeed, inhibiting KLF6-SV1 returned these cells to a more epithelial (less metastatic) phenotype. Moreover, KLF6-SV1 alters the expression of TWIST1, which regulates EMT. Thus, KLF6-SV1 may be an early driver for metastasis in breast cancer patients.