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Researchers discover that breast cancer tumor growth is dependent on lipid availability

In an article published in Nature Communications, the researchers report that breast cancer cells need to take up lipids from the extracellular environment in order to continue proliferating. The main protein involved in this process is LIPG, an enzyme found in the cell membrane (the layer that surrounds a cell) and without which tumour cell growth is arrested. Analyses of more than 500 clinical samples from patients with various kinds of breast tumour reveal that 85% have high levels of LIPG expression.

LIPG Tumor
Breast tumors have high levels of LIPG expression (F Slebe, IRB Barcelona).
Credit: IRB Barcelona