An interaction network approach to study the correlation between endocrine disrupting chemicals and breast cancer

Andrea Polo, Chiara Nittoli, Anna Crispo, Teresa Langastro, Lorella Severino, Stefania Cocco, Michelino De Laurentiis, Gennaro Ciliberto, Maurizio Montella, Alfredo Budillon, Susan Costantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are natural or synthetic exogenous substances affecting human health. Although present at low concentrations in the environment, they can cause a broad range of negative effects on the endocrine functions by mimicking the action of steroid hormones due to their structural similarity. Hormonal unbalance can play an important role in carcinogenesis at any stage of disease. In the case of the breast cancer, EDCs directly affect the transformation of normal breast cells into cancer cells by interfering with hormonal regulation and by inducing the alteration of factors that regulate gene expression. The principal aims of this work were to study the interaction networks of proteins modulated in breast cancer by either environmental EDCs or mycotoxins, and to identify the proteins with the strongest coordination role defined as hub nodes. Our studies evidenced the presence of seven and six hub proteins in two EDCs and mycotoxins networks, respectively. Then, by merging the two networks, we identified that three hub nodes (BCL2, ESR2 and CTNNB1) in the environmental EDCs network show direct interactions with three hub nodes (CASP8, RELA and MKI67) in the mycotoxins network. These data highlighted that two networks are linked through proteins involved in the apoptosis regulation and in processes related to cell proliferation and survival, and, thus, in breast cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2687-2696
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular BioSystems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'An interaction network approach to study the correlation between endocrine disrupting chemicals and breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this