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Issue 1, 2015
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Zinc isotopic compositions of breast cancer tissue

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An early diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer is essential to improve outcome. High precision isotopic analysis, originating in Earth sciences, can detect very small shifts in metal pathways. For the first time, the natural intrinsic Zn isotopic compositions of various tissues in breast cancer patients and controls were determined. Breast cancer tumours were found to have a significantly lighter Zn isotopic composition than the blood, serum and healthy breast tissue in both groups. The Zn isotopic lightness in tumours suggests that sulphur rich metallothionein dominates the isotopic selectivity of a breast tissue cell, rather than Zn-specific proteins. This reveals a possible mechanism of Zn delivery to Zn-sequestering vesicles by metallothionein, and is supported by a similar signature observed in the copper isotopic compositions of one breast cancer patient. This change in intrinsic isotopic compositions due to cancer has the potential to provide a novel early biomarker for breast cancer.

Graphical abstract: Zinc isotopic compositions of breast cancer tissue

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The article was received on 03 Oct 2014, accepted on 01 Dec 2014 and first published on 01 Dec 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00260A
Citation: Metallomics, 2015,7, 112-117
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Zinc isotopic compositions of breast cancer tissue

    F. Larner, L. N. Woodley, S. Shousha, A. Moyes, E. Humphreys-Williams, S. Strekopytov, A. N. Halliday, M. Rehkämper and R. C. Coombes, Metallomics, 2015, 7, 112
    DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00260A

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