Roles of copper-binding proteins in breast cancer
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.