Oncology Central

ELF5, normal mammary development and the heterogeneous phenotypes of breast cancer

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The ETS transcription factor ELF5 specifies the formation of the secretory cell lineage of the mammary gland during pregnancy, by directing cell fate decisions of the mammary progenitor cells. The decision-making activity continues in breast cancer, where in luminal breast cancer cells forced ELF5 expression suppresses estrogen sensitivity and shifts gene expression toward the basal molecular subtype. The development of anti-estrogen resistance in luminal breast cancer is accompanied by increased expression of ELF5 and acquired dependence on ELF5 for continued proliferation, providing a potential new therapeutic target or prognostic marker to improve the treatment of this stage of the disease.

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