Roles of copper-binding proteins in breast cancer
Review article, 2017

Copper ions are needed in several steps of cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms, and involved copper-binding proteins, are mainly elusive. Since most copper ions in the body (in and outside cells) are protein-bound, it is important to investigate what copper-binding proteins participate and, for these, how they are loaded with copper by copper transport proteins. Mechanistic information for how some copper-binding proteins, such as extracellular lysyl oxidase (LOX), play roles in cancer have been elucidated but there is still much to learn from a biophysical molecular viewpoint. Here we provide a summary of copper-binding proteins and discuss ones reported to have roles in cancer. We specifically focus on how copper-binding proteins such as mediator of cell motility 1 (MEMO1), LOX, LOX-like proteins, and secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) modulate breast cancer from molecular and clinical aspects. Because of the importance of copper for invasion/migration processes, which are key components of cancer metastasis, further insights into the actions of copper-binding proteins may provide new targets to combat cancer.


Copper transport

Copper-binding protein



Lysyl oxidase



Breast cancer


Stephanie Blockhuys

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Pernilla Wittung Stafshede

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

16616596 (ISSN) 14220067 (eISSN)

Vol. 18 4 871

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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