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Role of the WASP and WAVE family proteins in breast cancer invasion and metastasis

Authors Frugtniet B, Jiang W, Martin T

Received 3 December 2014

Accepted for publication 23 January 2015

Published 24 April 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 99—109


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Bethan Frugtniet, Wen G Jiang, Tracey A Martin

Cardiff-China Medical Research Collaborative, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Abstract: The Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and WASP family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE) family are a group of molecules that form a key link between GTPases and the actin cytoskeleton. The role of WASP/WAVE family proteins in the control of actin polymerization through activation of the actin-related protein 2/3 complex is critical in the formation of the actin-based membrane protrusions seen in cell migration and invasion. For this reason, the activity of the WASP/WAVE family in cancer cell invasion and migration has been of great interest in recent years. Many reports have highlighted the potential of targeting the WASP/WAVE family as a therapy for the prevention of cancer progression, in particular breast cancer. This review focuses on the role of the WASP/WAVE family in breast cancer cell invasion and migration and how this relates to the molecular mechanisms of WASP/WAVE activity, their exact contributions to the stages of cancer progression, and how this can lead to the development of anticancer drugs that target the WASP/WAVE family and related pathways.

Keywords: WASP, WAVE, breast cancer, migration, invasion

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