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Breast cancer and amyloid bodies: is there a role for amyloidosis in cancer-cell dormancy?

Authors Mizejewski GJ

Received 31 December 2016

Accepted for publication 5 April 2017

Published 26 April 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 287—291

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S131394

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar


Gerald J Mizejewski

Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA

Abstract: Breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are major causes of death in older women. Interestingly, breast cancer occurs less frequently in AD patients than in the general population. Amyloidosis, the aggregation of amyloid proteins to form amyloid bodies, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of AD and other human neuropathies by forming intracellular fibrillary proteins. Contrary to popular belief, amyloidosis is a common occurrence in mammalian cells, and has recently been reported to be a natural physiological process in response to environmental stress stimulations (such as pH and temperature extremes, hypoxia, and oxidative stress). Many proteins contain an intrinsic “amyloid-converting motif”, which acts in conjunction with a specific noncoding RNA to induce formation of proteinaceous amyloid bodies that are stored in intracellular bundles. In cancer cells such as breast and prostate, the process of amyloidosis induces cells to enter a dormant or resting stage devoid of cell division and proliferation. Therefore, cancer cells undergo growth cessation and enter a dormant stage following amyloidosis in the cell; this is akin to giving the cell AD to cease growth.

Keywords: α-fetoprotein, noncoding RNA, amyloid bodies, dormancy, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease

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