About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Insight into Molecular Changes That Drive Breast Development

by Bidita Debnath on November 26, 2017 at 12:11 AM
Font : A-A+

 Insight into Molecular Changes That Drive Breast Development

Breast tissue develops from stem cells, which divide and differentiate to give rise to the cells required to produce and release milk after pregnancy. A joint effort by breast cancer researchers and bioinformaticians has provided new insights into the molecular changes that drive breast development.

The research team compared genes expressed in single cells in the mammary gland (breast tissue) to understand the broad molecular changes that occur during development. This revealed a dramatic shift in gene expression around the onset of puberty, and allowed the team to identify previously unrecognised cell types cells in the breast.

Advertisement


An Institute research team including Dr Bhupinder Pal, Dr Yunshun Chen and Dr François Vaillant, led by Professor Jane Visvader, Professor Gordon Smyth and Professor Geoff Lindeman, investigated the molecular changes that occur as the breast develops. Their research was published in Nature Communications.

Professor Visvader, who jointly leads the Institute's breast cancer research program with Professor Lindeman, said the team focused on changes in the breast before, during and after puberty. "We compared which genes were expressed by the breast cells - their transcriptome - on a global level by profiling thousands of cells," she said. "This allowed us to uncover a huge change in the transcriptional program that occurs near puberty, which is the time when cells commit to become different types of adult cells. Prior to this time, in the pre-pubertal breast, the cells are all in a relatively similar and immature state."
Advertisement

Professor Visvader said that the findings had important implications for understanding how breast cancers arise. "This sort of technology can be applied to understanding which cells go awry in women at in increased risk for developing breast cancer. Moreover, this technology provides a new way of investigating breast cancer heterogeneity in much greater depth," she said.

Zooming in to single cells

A key to the discovery was a new technology called single-cell RNA-sequencing, in which the researchers could determine the transcriptomes of hundreds to thousands of cells, said Professor Gordon Smyth, head of the Institute's Bioinformatics division.

"We were able to apply our expertise in bioinformatics to differentiate the diverse populations of cells in the breast," he said. "This revealed striking changes in the gene expression programs that contribute to breast development."

An important aspect of the research was that it used two different transcriptomics technologies available at the Institute. One technology platform enabled in-depth sequencing of hundreds of cells, while the other enabled thousands of cells to be sequenced, albeit in less depth.

"This dual approach using two sequencing platforms allowed us to comprehensively investigate the research question, more powerfully than we could have using either platform alone," said Professor Smyth.

Professor Lindeman said the research was a wonderful success story for multi-disciplinary collaboration between biologists, bioinformaticians and technology specialists. "The expertise across multiple divisions at the Institute was critical to our team's discoveries," he said.

"The future of biology lies in collaboration, and in applying novel technologies solve to complex problems and reveal new levels of detail in how our bodies work. This is just one example of the power and potential of multi-disciplinary research."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Mastitis Breasts - Structures and Types Breast Lumps Breast Lumps-Screening Breast Enhancement Oil 

Recommended Reading
Healthy Breast Cells May Help Eliminate Cancer Growth
A study has found that normal healthy cells can be a second line of defence against cancer....
The Breast's Genetic Material Can Be Changed By Hormones According To Study
A new discovery by Melbourne scientists show how female steroid hormones can make dramatic changes ....
Dieting 2 Days a Week Reduces Breast Cancer Risk by 40%
A new study has indicated that a strict diet for two days a week consisting solely of vegetables, .....
Protein may Suppress Growth of Common Type of Breast Cancer
Researchers have identified a protein that can be targeted to suppress growth of a common type of .....
Breast Enhancement Oil
Breasts contain mammary glands which produce and secrete milk for feeding and nourishing babies. Tho...
Breast Lumps
Most breast lumps are caused by hormonal changes in a woman and may not be cancerous. Common causes ...
Breast Lumps-Screening
Breast lumps must never be neglected but instead be subjected to medical examination to rule out ......
Breasts - Structures and Types
Different stages of breast development in women and an in-depth look at the breast/bust and its ......
Mastitis
Mastitis is a common cause of tenderness, swelling and pain in breast, owing to inflammation in the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use