DOI: 10.3390/pathogens12091086 ISSN:

A New Paradigm in the Relationship between Gut Microbiota and Breast Cancer: β-glucuronidase Enzyme Identified as Potential Therapeutic Target

M. Leonor Fernández-Murga, Fernando Gil-Ortiz, Lucía Serrano-García, Antonio Llombart-Cussac
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequently occurring malignancy and the second cancer-specific cause of mortality in women in developed countries. Over 70% of the total number of BCs are hormone receptor-positive (HR+), and elevated levels of circulating estrogen (E) in the blood have been shown to be a major risk factor for the development of HR+ BC. This is attributable to estrogen’s contribution to increased cancer cell proliferation, stimulation of angiogenesis and metastasis, and resistance to therapy. The E metabolism–gut microbiome axis is functional, with subjacent individual variations in the levels of E. It is conceivable that the estrobolome (bacterial genes whose products metabolize E) may contribute to the risk of malignant neoplasms of hormonal origin, including BC, and may serve as a potential biomarker and target. It has been suggested that β-glucuronidase (GUS) enzymes of the intestinal microbiome participate in the strobolome. In addition, it has been proposed that bacterial GUS enzymes from the gastrointestinal tract participate in hormone BC. In this review, we discuss the latest knowledge about the role of the GUS enzyme in the pathogenesis of BC, focusing on (i) the microbiome and E metabolism; (ii) diet, estrobolome, and BC development; (iii) other activities of the bacterial GUS; and (iv) the new molecular targets for BC therapeutic application.

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