Cellular calcium dynamics in lactation and breast cancer

From physiology to pathology

Brandie M. Cross, Gerda E. Breitwieser, Timothy A. Reinhardt, Rajini Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women, estimated at nearly 40,000 deaths and more than 230,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. One of the defining characteristics of breast cancer is the radiographic presence of microcalcifications. These palpable mineral precipitates are commonly found in the breast after formation of a tumor. Since free Ca2+ plays a crucial role as a second messenger inside cells, we hypothesize that these chelated precipitates may be a result of dysregulated Ca2+ secretion associated with tumorigenesis. Transient and sustained elevations of intracellular Ca2+ regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell migration, and offer numerous therapeutic possibilities in controlling tumor growth and metastasis. During lactation, a developmentally determined program of gene expression controls the massive transcellular mobilization of Ca2+from the blood into milk by the coordinated action of calcium transporters, including pumps, channels, sensors and buffers, in a functional module that we term CALTRANS. Here we assess the evidence implicating genes that regulate free and buffered Ca2+in normal breast epithelium and cancer cells and discuss mechanisms that are likely to contribute to the pathological characteristics of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume306
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2014

Fingerprint

Lactation
Pathology
Breast Neoplasms
Calcium
Calcinosis
Neoplasms
Second Messenger Systems
Cell Movement
Minerals
Buffers
Carcinogenesis
Milk
Breast
Epithelium
Cell Proliferation
Apoptosis
Neoplasm Metastasis
Gene Expression
Mortality
Growth

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Lactation
  • Mammary epithelium
  • Secretory pathway
  • SPCA2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Cellular calcium dynamics in lactation and breast cancer : From physiology to pathology. / Cross, Brandie M.; Breitwieser, Gerda E.; Reinhardt, Timothy A.; Rao, Rajini.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, Vol. 306, No. 6, 15.03.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cross, Brandie M. ; Breitwieser, Gerda E. ; Reinhardt, Timothy A. ; Rao, Rajini. / Cellular calcium dynamics in lactation and breast cancer : From physiology to pathology. In: American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology. 2014 ; Vol. 306, No. 6.
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