CYR61 (CNN1), a member of the cysteine rich 61/connective tissue growth factor/nephroblastoma overexpressed (CYR61/CTFG/NOV) family of growth regulators (CNN), is a pro-angiogenic factor that mediates diverse roles in development, cell proliferation, and tumorigenesis. We have recently shown that CYR61 is overexpressed in invasive and metastatic human breast cancer cells. Accordingly, elevated levels of CYR61 in breast cancer are associated with more advanced disease. Unfortunately, the exact mechanisms by which CYR61 promotes an aggressive breast cancer phenotype are still largely unknown. This review examines the functional role of CYR61 in breast cancer disease, presenting evidence that CYR61 signaling may play a major role in estrogen- as well as growth factor-dependent breast cancer progression. We also emphasize the functional significance of the molecular connection of CYR61 and its integrin receptor αvβ3 enhancing breast cancer aggressiveness. Moreover, we describe experimental evidence that establishes a novel role for CYR61 determining the protection of human breast cancer cells against chemotherapy-induced apoptosis through its interactions with the integrin receptor αvβ3. All these findings delineate a new noteworthy function of a CYR61/αvβ3 autocrine - paracrine signaling pathway within both angiogenesis and breast cancer progression, which would allow a dual anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor benefit with a single drug.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cancer Research