Appointment period: 1/1/2015 to 11/09/2016
Lrig1 suppresses basal type-B breast cancer metastasis
Currently, I am investigating the role of Lrig1 in breast cancer as a putative metastasis suppressor. Leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains-1 (Lrig1) is a transmembrane protein that acts as an endogenous negative regulator of receptor tyrosine kinases. Lrig1 mRNA and protein expression are down-regulated in a number of solid tumors including breast cancer. Importantly, low Lrig1 expression in breast cancer is strongly correlated with poor patient prognosis and shorter distant metastasis-free survival. We have shown that Lrig1 is crucial to induce mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) in aggressive triple negative breast cell lines. Based on our in vitro EMT model, we suggest that Lrig1 represents an endogenous barrier to EMT. My current project is to investigate if Lrig1 represents a barrier to metastasis, and if Lrig1 expression is protective against metastasis.