[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Levels of 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME(2)), an endogenous metabolite of estradiol, are highly elevated during late stages of pregnancy when mammary glands have differentiated with the formation of alveolar structures producing milk proteins. Based upon our previous demonstration that 2ME(2) induces mammary ductal dilation associated with expression of mammary differentiation markers when administered to transgenic mice that spontaneously develop mammary cancer, we studied the effects of 2ME(2) on normal mammary gland development. The results of this study demonstrate that 2ME(2) can induce a partial differentiation of normal mammary glands in virgin mice, as evidenced by the appearance of limited numbers of alveolar cells and significantly increased expression of the differentiation markers beta-casein and whey acidic protein. 2ME(2)-induced differentiation is associated with inhibition of expression of inhibitor of differentiation 1 (Id-1) in normal mammary epithelial cells through elements in the 5'-flanking region of the Id-1 gene. Microarray analysis revealed that 2ME(2)-induced differentiation of the mammary gland shares some significant similarities in gene expression with that of mammary glands from late-stage pregnancy, including elevated expression of many milk protein differentiation markers. However, several genes are differentially regulated between 2ME(2)-treated mammary glands and differentiated mammary glands through pregnancy. Significantly, amphiregulin, ATF3, serpine2, and SOX6 were up-regulated in 2ME(2)-treated mammary glands but not in mammary glands from pregnant mice. Using the SCp2 differentiation cell line system, we demonstrate that 2ME(2) induces differentiation through the down-regulation of Id-1 and up-regulation of amphiregulin. Administration of amphiregulin to SCp2 cells induced differentiation, whereas inhibition of 2ME(2)-induced expression of amphiregulin by small interfering RNA blocked differentiation. Estrogen receptor-negative SCp2 cells differentiate in response to 2ME(2), but not estradiol, suggesting that 2ME(2) operates through an estrogen receptor-independent mechanism. These data demonstrate that 2ME(2) can induce a partial differentiation of the mammary gland through mechanisms that differ from those normally used during pregnancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 2-Methoxyestradiol (2ME(2)), a metabolite of 17-beta-estradiol, inhibits angiogenesis and has additional antitumor activities. We have analyzed the tumor stage-specific effects of 2ME(2) in the C3(1)/Tag transgenic mouse model for breast cancer, which spontaneously develops estrogen receptor-negative mammary tumors following a predictable progression of lesion formation. When given either as a therapeutic agent in established tumors (late intervention study) or in mice with pre-invasive mammary lesions (early intervention study), tumor growth was reduced by 60% compared with untreated controls and was associated with an induction of apoptosis. In a prevention study, a significant reduction in mammary intraepithelial neoplasia (MIN) lesions was observed in animals beginning treatment at 6 weeks of age, before the appearance of histopathologic abnormalities. However, although 2ME(2) reduced the number of MIN lesions in the prevention study, a paradoxical increase in tumor multiplicity and growth rate was observed. This was associated with unusual cystic tumor formation, in which significant central necrosis was observed, surrounded by an outer region of proliferative tumor cell growth. The characteristics of the cystic tumor formation in mice treated with 2ME(2) at early ages are consistent with an impaired angiogenic response as observed in mice deficient for inhibitor of differentiation (Id-1). We further show that Id-1 expression is negatively regulated by 2ME(2), which may be an additional mechanism for the antiangiogenic effect of 2ME(2). Although 2ME(2) significantly reduced tumor growth at late stages, these results also suggest that altered tumor morphology and accelerated tumor growth may occur if 2ME(2) is administered in a prevention setting for prolonged periods.
Cancer Research 05/2006; 66(7):3495-503. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The emerging technology of microarray analysis allows the establishment of molecular portraits of prostate cancer and the discovery of novel genes involved in the carcinogenesis process. Many novel genes have already been identified using this technique, and functional analyses of these genes are currently being tested. The combination of microarray analysis with other recently developed high-throughput techniques, such as proteomics, tissue arrays, and gene promoter-methylation, especially using tissue microdissection methods, will provide us with more comprehensive insights into how prostate cancer develops and responds to gene-targeted therapies. Animal models of prostate cancer are being characterized by high throughput techniques to better define the similarities and differences between those models and the human disease, and to determine whether particular models may be useful for specific targeted therapies in pre-clinical studies. Although profiling of mRNA expression provides important information of gene expression, the development of proteomic technologies will allow for an even more precise global insight into cellular signaling and structural alterations during prostate carcinogenesis. Not only will the "omic" revolution change basic science, but it will lead to a new era of molecular medicine.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 09/2005; 576(1-2):66-79. · 3.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer growth and progression is often critically influenced by the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key mediator of angiogenesis. VEGF produced by tumor cells stimulates endothelial cell growth through the binding and activation of the KDR/Flk-1 receptor (VEGFR-2) on endothelial cells. Recently, some human breast cancer epithelial cells have been shown to express VEGF receptors, suggesting a potential autocrine-mediated growth stimulation of a subset of cancers by VEGF. We demonstrate that mammary tumors in the C3(1)/Tag transgenic model express VEGF and VEGF receptors and tumor growth is stimulated by this autocrine mechanism. GW654652, an indazolylpyrimidine, is a VEGFRs tyrosine kinase inhibitor that dramatically reduces both angiogenesis and tumor cell growth in this model, as demonstrated using both in vitro and in vivo assays. GW654652 significantly decreased cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells and M6 mammary tumor cells derived from C3(1)/Tag (Tag: simian virus 40 T-antigen) transgenic mice. A 75% reduction in VEGF-induced angiogenesis was observed with GW654652 using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay, whereas GW654652 produced an approximately 85% reduction in angiogenesis as assessed by the Matrigel plug assay. A profound inhibitory effect on tumor growth in the C3(1)/Tag transgenic model of human breast cancer was observed with oral administration of GW654652 as measured by delayed tumor onset, decreased multiplicity, reduced tumor volume, and extended animal survival. The antitumor effects of GW654652 were associated with reduced tumor vascularization and no apparent toxicity. Tumor growth, however, rapidly advanced following cessation of treatment. This is the first demonstration that a VEGF receptor inhibitor, GW654652, has a strong inhibitory effect on angiogenesis and tumor progression in a transgenic model of mammary cancer, suggesting that this is a useful approach for preclinical testing of such agents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scores of genetically engineered mice have been generated in the quest to understand mechanisms of breast cancer development and progression. More recently, there has been a growing trend for using such models for testing various therapeutic strategies and agents. The application of these mouse models for these purposes requires that they be characterized in ways that demonstrate they possess important similarities to human breast cancer. In particular, detailed comparisons of the features of the models to human breast cancer must include attention to the histological phenotypes, chromosomal and molecular alterations, and the predictive value of the models for preclinical testing. Whereas these models have become important tools for the study of breast cancer, the great majority of existing mouse mammary cancer models develop tumors that are estrogen receptor negative, with relatively few models demonstrating metastatic spread to the lungs, and none developing metastases to bone. This review focuses on recent studies using genomic approaches to further understand the oncogenic processes occurring in mouse models of mammary cancer and to compare these changes with those identified in human breast cancer. Gene expression profiling is being applied to help define pharmacological responses that occur in vivo. Detailed genomic analyses will provide important information for selecting models for specific experimental purposes, contribute to the understanding of oncogene-specific expression signatures and potential therapeutic targets, and further define mechanisms of chemoprevention and chemotherapy.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2004; 10(1 Pt 2):385S-90S. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While classical histopathologic approaches are invaluable in classifying tumors and understanding aspects of cellular interactions, genomic approaches provide a means to molecularly dissect tumorigenesis. The relationship of gene expression to the development of neoplasia remains an area of intensive research. With the advent of large-scale genomic platforms, alterations in gene expression can be related to the morphological development of cancer. The feasibility of using large-scale genomic analysis platforms has dramatically changed the landscape of biological sciences, as cellular processes must be considered in the context of complex networks. Alterations in gene expression must now be understood in a systems approach in which the relationships between genes expression changes are studied by considering the interplay of multiple regulatory networks. Ultimately, such changes must be understood at the protein level. We have begun to apply this technology to determine changes in gene expression that differentiate various types of mammary cancers that arise in mouse models that have been initiated by different genetic alterations. Ultimately, a molecular catalogue of similarities and differences between rodent and human tumors can be created which will serve to validate or credential particular models for specific experimental purposes, such as preclinical testing. These approaches have led to new insights into molecular pathways involved in oncogenesis, new classifications of human breast cancer, and the identification of new genes that may be relevant to understanding and treating human cancer.