Potential cause for deadly breast cancer relapse identified

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SummaryScientists have discovered why some of the most aggressive and fatal breast cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy.

proteins, the researchers created a synthetic peptide – a chain of amino acids - that can stifle the binding power of Engrailed 1.

In cell lines - not in animals or patients - Beltran and colleagues used their peptide to disrupt Engrailed 1 from binding to its protein partners and DNA.

"Cancer cells need Engrailed 1 to live. The peptide abolishes all interactions of Engrailed 1, and as a consequence Engrailed 1 cannot perform its functions, causing rapid cell death of the cancer cell," Beltran said.

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