Takaku Awarded CoBRE Supplemental NIH Grant
Motoki Takaku, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor with the Biomedical Sciences Department, has been awarded a one-year supplement grant to support his progesterone receptor project from the National Instiutes of Health (NIH). According to Dr. Takaku, "the main goal is to identify how progesterone receptor (PR) controls breast cancer cell proliferation. We believe the identification of such mechanisms will contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for aggressive breast cancer."
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S. In 2020, about 276,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed, and approximately 42,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer. Steroid hormones and hormone receptors are known to be key factors of breast cancer risk. Long-term exposure to progesterone or progestin (synthetic version of progesterone) is known to be associated with higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other diseases. On the other hand, other studies also suggest that short-term progesterone exposure can inhibit breast tumor growth and risk. Although progesterone treatment has been considered as a promising breast cancer treatment, the clinical significance of progesterone treatment is still obscure because of this controversial function of progesterone in breast cancer and our lacking knowledge of the molecular mechanism of progesterone receptor (PR) action in breast cancer. This application aims to fill this critical gap and tries to contribute to the development of progesterone targeting therapeutic strategies by using our unique breast cancer cell model as well as cutting edge genomics approaches, which have been significantly developed through the parent CoBRE program. The goal of this project is to identify how PR regulates cell cycle genes to inhibit tumor growth.