Cell cycle protein interaction with telomerase in a breast cancer culture system



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Texas Tech University


Breast cancer causes 40,000 deaths a year and is second only to lung cancer in deaths attributed to neoplastic disease. There is a known age and cell lineage dependence related to the development of the disease. It is vitally important to understand the manner in which this disease develops. One approach is to examine proteins involved in cell cycle regulation. Three such proteins are c-Myc, p53, and pRb. These proteins in conjunction with one another and telomerase perform critical functions within a cell. They have an intertwined pattern of activity. If these functions are not regulated, the cells can proliferate unchecked and give rise to cancer. Our study focused on the differences of protein levels and activity overtime between epithelial and stromal cells of the breast. The data appeared to show that stromal cells exhibit a tighter control over their cell cycle than their epithelial counterparts. Further, it would seem that c-Myc levels are inversely related to telomerase activity. This data points to more studies in the future.