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How a metabolic pathway promotes breast cancer metastasis

A metabolic pathway that is up-regulated in certain breast cancers promotes the disease’s progression by activating a cell signaling protein called Arf6, according to a paper published in the Journal of Cell Biology. The study, “P53- and mevalonate pathway-driven malignancies require Arf6 for metastasis and drug resistance” by Ari Hashimoto and colleagues, has been published online ahead of print and suggests that statin-like drugs may be effective treatments for breast cancer patients whose tumors express high levels of Arf6 signaling proteins.

The Mevalonate Pathway Activates Arf6
Thanks to the activity of the mevalonate pathway, Rab11b delivers Arf6 (green) to the plasma membrane, where it can be activated to promote cancer cell invasion and drug resistance.
Credit: Hashimoto et al., 2016