In a recent issue of the prestigious journal, Cell, (2012 Jan 20;148(1-2):244-58) Jill Bargonetti, Professor of Biology at Hunter College, co-authored a paper that discusses how mutations in the p53 protein affect the way cells associate with each other through the regulation of lipids in the cell membranes.
Mutations in the gene, p53, are commonly found in human cancers. Because p53 controls the way cells divide, its mutation is correlated with the onset of the uncontrolled cell division that is characteristic of the disease.
Bargonetti and her co-authors discuss how this research helps to identify the lipid synthesizing mevalonate pathway as a new target for therapeutic intervention in breast cancer. While the research does not directly suggest a treatment regimen, a therapeutic study involving women who have the mutated p53 gene is indicated.
The article, Mutant p53 Disrupts Mammary Tissue Architecture via the Mevalonate Pathway, is available at http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2811%2901569-8