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Breast Cancer Res. 2012 May 10;14(3):309.

Estrogen-related receptor alpha: an orphan finds a family.

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  • 1Masonic Cancer Center, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, MMC 806, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Identification of molecules and their effectors has led to new therapies designed to specifically inhibit pathways in molecularly defined breast cancer subtypes. An orphan nuclear receptor, estrogen-related receptor alpha, has been shown to be a downstream target of two tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors: human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor. Identifying the mechanistic actions of orphan nuclear receptors could lead to new biomarkers and molecular targets in malignancy.

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