[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancers with a basal-like gene signature are primarily triple-negative, frequently metastatic, and carry a poor prognosis. Basal-like breast cancers are enriched for markers of breast cancer stem cells as well as markers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). While EMT is generally thought to be important in the process of metastasis, in vivo evidence of EMT in human disease remains rare. Here we report a novel model of human triple-negative breast cancer, the DKAT cell line, which was isolated from an aggressive, treatment-resistant triple-negative breast cancer that demonstrated morphological and biochemical evidence suggestive of phenotypic plasticity in the patient. The DKAT cell line displays a basal-like phenotype in vitro when cultured in serum-free media, and undergoes phenotypic changes consistent with EMT/MET in response to serum-containing media, a unique property among the breast cancer cell lines we tested. This EMT is marked by increased expression of the transcription factor Zeb1, and Zeb1 is required for the enhanced migratory ability of DKAT cells in the mesenchymal state. DKAT cells also express progenitor-cell markers, and single DKAT cells are able to generate tumorspheres containing both epithelial and mesenchymal cell types. In vivo, as few as ten DKAT cells are capable of forming xenograft tumors which display a range of epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes. The DKAT model provides a novel model to study the molecular mechanisms regulating phenotypic plasticity and the aggressive biology of triple-negative breast cancers.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45684. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammary gland homeostasis is regulated by both endogenous and exogenous signals, creating a balance between proliferation and apoptosis. It is thought that breast cancer develops from the acquisition of multiple genetic changes. The function of tumor suppressor p53 is fequently lost in cancers; however, not all cells that lose p53 progress to become invasive cancer. We have developed a model of early mammary carcinogenesis to investigate some of the internal and external signaling pathways that target the elimination ot normal basal-type human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) that acutely acquire p53-damage. Here, we show that both tamoxifen (Tam) and three-dimensional prepared extracellular matrix culture (3-D rECM) induce apoptosis in HMEC cells with acute loss of p53 [*p53(-) HMECs] through induction of interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1). Tam and rECM signaling in *p53(-) HMECs (1) promotes the recruitment of a STAT1/ CBP complex to the IRF-1 promoter, (2) upregulates IRF-1, (3) activates caspase-1 and -3, and (4) induces apoptosis. Suppression of IRF-1 with siRNA oligos inhibited both Tam- and rECM-induced apoptosis. These observations demonstrate that IRF-1 plays a critical role in eliminating p53-damaged cells, and may play a more global role in mammary gland homeostasis.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/2008; 617:367-74. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between extracellular matrix (ECM) and mammary epithelial cells are critical for mammary gland homeostasis and apoptotic signaling. Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) is a transcriptional regulator that promotes apoptosis during mammary gland involution and p53-independent apoptosis. We have recently shown that rapid cell surface tamoxifen (Tam) signaling promotes apoptosis in normal human mammary epithelial cells that were acutely damaged by expression of human papillomavirus type-16 E6 protein (*HMEC-E6). Apoptosis was mediated by recruitment of CREB-binding protein (CBP) to the gamma-activating sequence (GAS) element of the IRF-1 promoter, induction of IRF-1 and caspase-1/-3 activation. Here, we show that growth factor-depleted, reconstituted ECM (rECM), similar to Tam, promotes apoptosis in *HMEC-E6 cells through induction of IRF-1. Apoptosis was temporally associated with recruitment of CBP to the GAS element of the IRF-1 promoter, induction of IRF-1 expression and caspase-1/-3 activation. Small interfering RNA-mediated suppression of IRF-1 protein expression in *HMEC-E6 cells blocked (1) induction of IRF-1, (2) caspase-1/-3 activation and (3) apoptosis. These observations demonstrate that IRF-1 promotes rECM-mediated apoptosis and provide evidence that both rECM and rapid Tam signaling transcriptionally activate IRF-1 through recruitment of CBP to the IRF-1 GAS promoter complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between normal mammary epithelial cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) are important for mammary gland homeostasis. Loss of interactions between ECM and normal mammary epithelial cells are thought to be an early event in mammary carcinogenesis. CREB-binding protein (CBP) is an important regulator of proliferation and apoptosis but the role of CBP in ECM signaling is poorly characterized. CBP was suppressed in basal-cytokeratin-positive HMECs (CK5/6+, CK14+, CK8-, CK18-, CK19-). Suppression of CBP resulted in loss of reconstituted ECM-mediated growth control and apoptosis and loss of laminin-5 alpha3-chain expression. Suppression of CBP in normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) resulted in loss of CBP occupancy of the LAMA3A promoter and decreased LAMA3A promoter activity and laminin-5 alpha-3 chain expression. Exogenous expression of CBP in CBP-negative HMECs that have lost reconstituted ECM-mediated growth regulation and apoptosis resulted in (1) CBP occupancy of the LAMA3A promoter, (2) increased LAMA3A activity and laminin-5 alpha3-chain expression, and (3) enhancement of reconstituted ECM-mediated growth regulation and apoptosis. Similarly, suppression of laminin-5 alpha3-chain expression in HMECs resulted in loss of reconstituted ECM-mediated growth control and apoptosis. These observations suggest that loss of CBP in basal-cytokeratin-positive HMECs results in loss of reconstituted ECM-mediated growth control and apoptosis through loss of LAMA3A activity and laminin-5 alpha3-chain expression. Results in these studies may provide insight into early events in basal-type mammary carcinogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methylation of the retinoic acid receptor-beta2 (RARbeta2) P2 promoter is hypothesized to be an important mechanism for loss of RARbeta2 function during early mammary carcinogenesis. The frequency of RARbeta2 P2 methylation was tested in (a) 16 early stage breast cancers and (b) 67 random periareolar fine needle aspiration (RPFNA) samples obtained from 38 asymptomatic women who were at increased risk for breast cancer. Risk was defined as either (a) 5-year Gail risk calculation > or = 1.7%; (b) prior biopsy exhibiting atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, or ductal carcinoma in situ; or (c) known BRCA1/2 mutation carrier. RARbeta2 P2 promoter methylation was assessed at two regions, M3 (-51 to 162 bp) and M4 (104-251 bp). In early stage cancers, M4 methylation was observed in 11 of 16 (69%) cases; in RPFNA samples, methylation was present at M3 and M4 in 28 of 56 (50%) and 19 of 56 (38%) cases, respectively. RPFNAs were stratified for cytologic atypia using the Masood cytology index. The distribution of RARbeta2 P2 promoter methylation was reported as a function of increased cytologic abnormality. Methylation at both M3 and M4 was observed in (a) 0 of 10 (0%) of RPFNAs with Masood scores of < or = 10 (nonproliferative), (b) 3 of 20 (15%) with Masood scores of 11 to 12 (low-grade proliferative), (c) 3 of 10 (30%) with Masood scores of 13 (high-grade proliferative), and (d) 7 of 14 (50%) with Masood scores of 14 of 15 (atypia). Results from this study indicate that the RARbeta2 P2 promoter is frequently methylated (69%) in primary breast cancers and shows a positive association with increasing cytologic abnormality in RPFNA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlike estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) breast cancers, normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) typically express low nuclear levels of ER (ER poor). We previously demonstrated that 1.0 microM tamoxifen (Tam) promotes apoptosis in acutely damaged ER-poor HMECs through a rapid, 'nonclassic' signaling pathway. Interferon-regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1), a target of signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 transcriptional regulation, has been shown to promote apoptosis following DNA damage. Here we show that 1.0 microM Tam promotes apoptosis in acutely damaged ER-poor HMECs through IRF-1 induction and caspase-1/3 activation. Treatment of acutely damaged HMEC-E6 cells with 1.0 microM Tam resulted in recruitment of CBP to the gamma-IFN-activated sequence element of the IRF-1 promoter, induction of IRF-1, and sequential activation of caspase-1 and -3. The effects of Tam were blocked by expression of siRNA directed against IRF-1 and caspase-1 inhibitors. These data indicate that Tam induces apoptosis in HMEC-E6 cells through a novel IRF-1-mediated signaling pathway that results in activated caspase-1 and -3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs), unlike estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers, typically express low nuclear levels of ER (ER-'poor'). We previously demonstrated that 1.0 microM tamoxifen (Tam) induced apoptosis in ER-'poor' HMECs acutely transduced with human papillomavirus-16 E6 (HMEC-E6) through a rapid mitochondrial signaling pathway. Here, we show that plasma membrane-associated E2-binding sites initiate the rapid apoptotic effects of Tam in HMEC-E6 cells through modulation of AKT activity. At equimolar concentrations, Tam and tamoxifen ethyl bromide (QTam), a membrane impermeant analog of Tam, rapidly induced apoptosis in HMEC-E6 cells associated with an even more rapid decrease in phosphorylation of AKT at serine-473. Treatment of HMEC-E6 cells with 1.0 microM QTam resulted in a 50% decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, sequential activation of caspase-9 and -3, and a 90% decrease in AKT Ser-473 phosphorylation. The effects of both Tam and QTam were blocked by expression of constitutively active AKT (myristoylated AKT or AKT-Thr308Asp/Ser473Asp). These data indicate that Tam and QTam induce apoptosis in HMEC-E6 cells through a plasma membrane-activated AKT-signaling pathway that results in (1) decreased AKT phosphorylation at Ser-473, (2) mitochondrial membrane depolarization, and (3) activated caspase-9 and -3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The coactivators CBP and p300 are recruited by retinoic acid receptors (RARs) during retinoid mediated transcriptional regulation. To assess the role of CBP/p300 in all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA)-mediated growth arrest in mammary epithelial cells, two systems were tested: (1) ATRA resistant MCF-7 cells were transduced with a functional RAR-beta 2; (2) normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) were transduced with a pan-RAR dominant negative, RAR-alpha 403. Expression of RAR-beta 2 in MCF-7 cells resulted in increased sensitivity to ATRA-induced growth arrest and correlated with induction of CBP/p300 mRNA and protein. Inhibition of RAR function in HMECs resulted in resistance to ATRA-induced growth arrest and loss of CBP/p300 induction. Antisense suppression of CBP/p300 in HMECs resulted in decreased retinoic acid response element reporter trans-activation and decreased ATRA-mediated growth arrest. Thus, in human mammary epithelial cells, CBP/p300 were both modulated by an ATRA signaling pathway and were required for a normal response to ATRA.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2003; 302(4):841-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor