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Mol Cancer Res. 2017 Jul;15(7):942-952. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0408. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Calcium Sensor, NCS-1, Promotes Tumor Aggressiveness and Predicts Patient Survival.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Pharmacology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Experimental Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Neuronal Calcium Sensor 1 (NCS-1) is a multi-functional Ca2+-binding protein that affects a range of cellular processes beyond those related to neurons. Functional characterization of NCS-1 in neuronal model systems suggests that NCS-1 may influence oncogenic processes. To this end, the biological role of NCS-1 was investigated by altering its endogenous expression in MCF-7 and MB-231 breast cancer cells. Overexpression of NCS-1 resulted in a more aggressive tumor phenotype demonstrated by a marked increase in invasion and motility, and a decrease in cell-matrix adhesion to collagen IV. Overexpression of NCS-1 was also shown to increase the efficacy of paclitaxel-induced cell death in a manner that was independent of cellular proliferation. To determine the association between NCS-1 and clinical outcome, NCS-1 expression was measured in two independent breast cancer cohorts by the Automated Quantitative Analysis method of quantitative immunofluorescence. Elevated levels of NCS-1 were significantly correlated with shorter survival rates. Furthermore, multivariate analysis demonstrated that NCS-1 status was prognostic, independent of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, HER2, and lymph node status. These findings indicate that NCS-1 plays a role in the aggressive behavior of a subset of breast cancers and has therapeutic or biomarker potential.Implications: NCS-1, a calcium-binding protein, is associated with clinicopathologic features of aggressiveness in breast cancer cells and worse outcome in two breast cancer patient cohorts. Mol Cancer Res; 15(7); 942-52. ©2017 AACR.

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