Progesterone receptor (PR) transcriptional action is regulated by post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation and SUMOylation. PRs are emerging as important drivers of breast cancer progression and the treatment of post-menopausal women with progestins (as part of hormone replacement therapy) significantly increases their breast cancer risk. The researchers have been using public data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to study gene expression measurements for their PR gene signatures derived from breast cancer cell lines and are continuing with their analyses in various areas. The significance of this work is exciting because “activated” PR may play role as a driver of luminal tumor progression, and this group's data may support the development of a useful genetic test to identify patients whose tumors appear to be PR-driven and may benefit from antiprogestin therapy.
This research was featured on the MSI website in September 2018: Genetic Interactions as Predictors of Breast Cancer Risk.