Findings by scientists at the A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), were reported in the July 2013 issue of PNAS.

Using integrated genomic approaches, GIS scientists led by Qiang Yu, in collaboration with local and international institutions, set out to search for targets that can be affected by drugs.

The scientists discovered that a protein tyrosine phosphatase, called UBASH3B, is over expressed in one-third of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) patients. UBASH3B controls the activity of an important breast cancer gene.

The researchers found that deleting this gene expression markedly inhibits TNBC cell invasive growth and lung metastasis in a mouse model.

Lead author Qiang Yu said, "The identification of target genes is always the most crucial first step towards treating a disease. It is heartening to know that UBASH3B is an important element of the pro-invasive gene network and targeting UBASH3B not only inhibits TNBC invasive growth, but also significantly reduces metastasis."