THE ROLE OF SPY1 IN BREAST CANCER STEM/PROGENITOR POPULATIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
Breast tumours are heterogeneous and contain populations of cells with stem-like qualities that are characterized by long term self-renewal capability and the ability to generate more differentiated progeny. This model for carcinogenesis carries significant clinical implications as cancer stem-like cells have enhanced protective mechanisms that make them resistant to conventional therapies. Designing treatment options to target this aggressive population requires an understanding of the mechanisms regulating their growth and fate decisions, including cell cycle regulation. The protein Spy1 is an atypical cyclin that enhances cell proliferation and overrides senescent barriers. Spy1 has demonstrated roles in maintaining stemness in the brain and is elevated in human breast carcinoma. This study demonstrated that Spy1 is a driver in the population of stem-like cells across a number of different breast cancer cell lines. The findings in this study may have clinical implications toward targeted approaches in the treatment of breast cancer.