New publications - High Mobility Group A (HMGA) proteins: Molecular instigators of breast cancer onset and progression

Published on 'BBA Reviews on Cancer' by research group of prof. Guidalberto Manfioletti
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Cancer heterogeneity is one of the factors that constitute an obstacle towards an efficient targeting of this multifaceted disease. Molecular information can help in classifying cancer subtypes and in providing clinicians with novel targeted therapeutic opportunities. In this regard, classification of breast cancer into intrinsic subtypes based on molecular profiling represents a valuable prototype.

The High Mobility Group A (HMGA) chromatin architectural factors (HMGA1a, HMGA1b, and HMGA2) have a relevant and causal role in breast cancer onset and development, by influencing virtually all cancer hallmarks. The regulation of HMGA expression is under the control of major pathways involved in cell proliferation and survival, as well as in other cancer-related processes, thereby suggesting, for the HMGA members, a high degree of homology and overlapping activities. Despite of this evidence, HMGA proteins display also specific functions.

In this review, we provide an overview of (i) the pathways involved in HMGA transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, (ii) the utilization of HMGA as molecular markers, and (iii) the biological role of HMGA in the context of breast cancer. We focus on the potential significance of HMGA in governing the onset and development of this tumour, as well as on the potential of these factors as novel specific targets for preventing and treating strategies. The emerging picture is a highly interconnected triad of proteins that could mutually influence each other, either in a competitive or cooperative manner, and that, in our opinion, should be considered as a unified and integrated protein system.

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Last update: 03-21-2018 - 09:58