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BMP/Coco antagonism as a deterministic factor of metastasis dormancy in lung

Jarrod Martinez1 and Xiang H-F Zhang123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA

2 Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA

3 McNair Medical Institute, 109 N. Post Oak Lane, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77024, USA

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Breast Cancer Research 2013, 15:302  doi:10.1186/bcr3350

Published: 15 January 2013

Abstract

A recent Cell publication demonstrates that the secreted antagonist of transforming growth factor-beta ligands, Coco, can re-activate previously dormant metastatic breast cancer cells specifically in the lung by inhibiting bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. The authors provided evidence for a connection between Coco/BMP signaling and molecular and cellular traits of cancer stem cells. Their findings represent a significant advance in our understanding of metastatic dormancy, an extremely important clinical issue that remains understudied. Equally as important, this study also opens interesting avenues for future research.