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Does the epithelial sodium channel, ENaC, have a role in breast cancer?

The epithelial sodium channel, as its name suggests, has well established functions in epithelia: e.g. control of salt and water homeostasis and blood pressure through its activity in the kidney, and maintaining the airway surface liquid layer in the lung. ENaC is also active in mammary epithelia, and our bioinformatic analysis suggests that high ENaC expression is correlated with a better prognosis in breast cancer. A number of other ion channels have been linked to cancer cell proliferation and migration pathways that control metastasis of tumours, and therefore we have investigated a role for ENaC in these pathways. Our data suggest high levels of ENaC expression and activity are associated with lower breast cancer cell activity and proliferation, and with changes in cell migration. Therefore our results hint at a role for ENaC in maintaining mammary epithelial phenotype. However, whether ENaC is a cause or consequence of switches in cancer cell phenotype remains unknown.

Date Monday, 1 July 2019
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Departmental Seminar
CampusDunedin
DepartmentPhysiology
LocationHercus d'Ath Lecture theatre, Great King Street

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