Accelerated preclinical testing using transplanted tumors from genetically engineered mouse breast cancer models.
ABSTRACT The use of genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models for preclinical testing of anticancer therapies is hampered by variable tumor latency, incomplete penetrance, and complicated breeding schemes. Here, we describe and validate a transplantation strategy that circumvents some of these difficulties.
Tumor fragments from tumor-bearing MMTV-PyMT or cell suspensions from MMTV-PyMT, -Her2/neu, -wnt1, -wnt1/p53(+/-), BRCA1/p53(+/-), and C3(1)T-Ag mice were transplanted into the mammary fat pad or s.c. into naïve syngeneic or immunosuppressed mice. Tumor development was monitored and tissues were processed for histopathology and gene expression profiling. Metastasis was scored 60 days after the removal of transplanted tumors.
PyMT tumor fragments and cell suspensions from anterior glands grew faster than posterior tumors in serial passages regardless of the site of implantation. Microarray analysis revealed genetic differences between these tumors. The transplantation was reproducible using anterior tumors from multiple GEM, and tumor growth rate correlated with the number of transplanted cells. Similar morphologic appearances were observed in original and transplanted tumors. Metastasis developed in >90% of mice transplanted with PyMT, 40% with BRCA1/p53(+/-) and wnt1/p53(+/-), and 15% with Her2/neu tumors. Expansion of PyMT and wnt1 tumors by serial transplantation for two passages did not lead to significant changes in gene expression. PyMT-transplanted tumors and anterior tumors of transgenic mice showed similar sensitivities to cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel.
Transplantation of GEM tumors can provide a large cohort of mice bearing mammary tumors at the same stage of tumor development and with defined frequency of metastasis in a well-characterized molecular and genetic background.
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ABSTRACT: Basal-like breast tumors are aggressive cancers associated with high proliferation and metastasis. Chemotherapy is currently the only treatment option; however, resistance often occurs resulting in recurrence and patient death. Some extremely aggressive cancers are also associated with hypoxia, inflammation and high leukocyte infiltration. Herein, we discovered that the neural-specific transcription factor, Engrailed 1 (EN1), is exclusively overexpressed in these tumors. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown of EN1 triggered potent and selective cell death. In contrast, ectopic overexpression of EN1 in normal cells activated survival pathways and conferred resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Exogenous expression of EN1 cDNA reprogrammed the breast epithelial cells toward a long-lived, neural-like phenotype displaying dopaminergic markers. Gene expression microarrays demonstrated that the EN1 cDNA altered transcription of a high number of inflammatory molecules, notably chemokines and chemokine receptors, which could mediate prosurvival pathways. To block EN1 function, we engineered synthetic interference peptides (iPeps) comprising the EN1-specific sequences that mediate essential protein-protein interactions necessary for EN1 function and an N-terminal cell-penetrating peptide/nuclear localization sequence. These EN1-iPeps rapidly mediated a strong apoptotic response in tumor cells overexpressing EN1, with no toxicity to normal or non EN1-expressing cells. Delivery of EN1-iPeps into basal-like cancer cells significantly decreased the fifty percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of chemotherapeutic drugs routinely used to treat breast cancer. Lastly, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that EN1-iPeps captured targets involved in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Importantly, the EN1-iPeps bound the glutamyl-prolyl tRNA synthetase (EPRS) target, which has been associated with the transcript-specific translational control of inflammatory proteins and activation of amino-acid stress pathways. This work unveils EN1 as an activator of intrinsic inflammatory pathways associated with prosurvival in basal-like breast cancer. We further build upon these results and describe the engineering of iPeps targeting EN1 (EN1-iPeps) as a novel and selective therapeutic strategy to combat these lethal forms of breast cancer.Oncogene advance online publication, 21 October 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.422.Oncogene 10/2013; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer cells overexpress matrix-type metalloproteinases (MMPs, shown as pacmen). MMPs cleave the peptide linker connecting anticancer prodrug to the dextran coated magnetic nanoparticle. After the cleavage, the drug becomes toxic (active drug shown in purple). As J. Rao, H. E. Daldrup-Link, and co-workers describe on page 566, this tumor specific drug release reduces the side-effects of cancer therapy. The magnetic core of the nanoparticles allows for MRI monitoring of their distribution in the body.Small 02/2014; 10(3):417. · 7.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adiponectin is an adipokine that can suppress the proliferation of various human carcinoma cells. Although its anti-tumor activities have been suggested by many clinical investigations and animal studies, the underlying mechanisms are not fully characterized. In MMTV-polyomavirus middle T antigen (MMTV-PyVT) transgenic mice models, reduced- or complete loss-of-adiponectin expression promotes mammary tumor development. The present study demonstrated that while tumor development in control MMTV-PyVT mice is associated with a progressively decreased circulating cholesterol concentration, adiponectin deficient MMTV-PyVT mice showed significantly elevated total- and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels. Cholesterol contents in tumors derived from adiponectin deficient mice were dramatically augmented. High fat high cholesterol diet further accelerated the tumor development in adiponectin deficient PyVT mice. The protein levels of LDL receptor (LDLR) were found to be upregulated in adiponectin-deficient tumor cells. In human breast carcinoma cells, treatment with LDL-cholesterol or overexpressing LDLR elevates nuclear beta-catenin activity and facilitates tumor cell proliferation. On the other hand, adiponectin decreased LDLR protein expression in breast cancer cells and inhibited LDL-cholesterol-induced tumor cell proliferation. Both in vivo and in vitro evidence demonstrated a stimulatory effect of adiponectin on autophagy process, which mediated the down-regulation of LDLR. Adiponectin-induced reduction of LDLR was blocked by treatment with a specific inhibitor of autophagy, 3-methyladenine. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that adiponectin elicits tumor suppressive effects by modulating cholesterol homeostasis and LDLR expression in breast cancer cells, which is at least in part attributed to its role in promoting autophagic flux.Oncotarget 10/2013; · 6.64 Impact Factor