Identification of the Genes Allowing the Cancer Cells to Enter Brain Cells

Release Date: 03-Aug-2020

Proteins have been identified that could help the cancer cells to enter the cells in the brain. Brain cells are tightly packed with each other and forms blood brain barrier which responsible for the minimum penetration of the substances inside the blood vessels and brain tissues. It has been found that in some cases, brain cells allow the cancer cells to enter it but many drugs cannot get into the brain. This has produced a number of complications while going through the cancer treatment as well as prognosis for the patient with metastases. 


It is well known that the regulation of several different genes in the body results in the formation of metastasis. Other than this it is also well known that tumor cells uses certain enzymes and microRNAs to damage the structure of the brain, leading to increase in permeability of the blood brain barrier. Some of the enzymes or proteins that are found to be responsible for destroying the dense contact of the brain are cathepsin C, seprase, placental growth factor and urokinase-type plasminogen activator. It was found that the inhibitor for cathespsin C was able to suppress the growth of the metastases in the breast cancer.  All the proteins or enzymes mentioned above are considered as possible targets for the anti-cancer therapy.


There are several different types of microRNA’s that helps in establishing communication between the cancer cells and the environment. For example: miR-105 affects ZO-1 protein, which leads to the formation of metastases in the breast cancer and miR-143-3p is responsible for enhancing the permeability of blood brain barrier in the case of lung cancer. In several different cases, there are some other proteins of the cells wall, integrins that play an important role in metastasis. Some of the integrins playing the above said role include avb3, VLA-4 and avb8. The activities of the intergins are leading to the opening of the door of the brain for the cancer cells. Therefore, through the research conducted for the same it was observed that there are number of proteins or genes encoding them that are responsible for enhancing the formation of metastases. Now, the researchers are trying to develop some novel therapies by targeting the proteins leading to increased permeability of the brain to the cancer cells.

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