Julie Boertmann Noer
Ecology and Evolution
Universitetsparken 15, 2100 København Ø
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II Invariant Chain (CD74) is a protein with functions in the immune system where it acts as a chaperone for the correct folding and antigen-binding of MHC class II, but also as cell surface receptor for the pro-inflammatory cytokine Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF). In vitro studies have found that more invasive breast cancer cell lines express more CD74 than less invasive cell lines. CD74 has also been demonstrated to increase the in vitro invasive capabilities of several different cancer cell lines.
Clinical studies have found CD74 overexpressed in breast cancer tissue and it has been associated with both triple-negative status of the tumor and increased metastases. However, CD74’s immunological functions could also be thought to benefit patient prognoses.
I am interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that lie behind CD74’s complex role in breast cancer cells, to evaluate its use as a potential biomarker or therapeutic target in triple-negative breast cancers.