[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HER4 expression in human breast cancers correlates with a positive prognosis. While heregulin inhibits the growth of HER4-positive breast cancer cells, it does so by undefined mechanisms. We demonstrate that heregulin-induced HER4 activity inhibits cell proliferation and delays G(2)/M progression of breast cancer cells. While investigating pathways of G(2)/M delay, we noted that heregulin increased the expression of BRCA1 in a HER4-dependent, HER2-independent manner. Induction of BRCA1 by HER4 occurred independently of the cell cycle. Moreover, BRCA1 expression was elevated in HER4-postive human breast cancer specimens. Heregulin stimulated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and pharmacologic inhibition of JNK impaired heregulin-enhanced expression of BRCA1 and mitotic delay; inhibition of Erk1/2 did not. Knockdown of BRCA1 with small interfering RNA in a human breast cancer cell line interfered with HER4-mediated mitotic delay. Heregulin/HER4-dependent mitotic delay was examined further with an isogenic pair of mouse mammary epithelial cells (MECs) derived from mice harboring homozygous LoxP sites flanking exon 11 of BRCA1, such that one cell line expressed BRCA1 while the other cell line, after Cre-mediated excision, did not. BRCA1-positive MECs displayed heregulin-dependent mitotic delay; however, the isogenic BRCA1-negative MECs did not. These results suggest that heregulin-mediated growth inhibition in HER4-postive breast cancer cells requires BRCA1.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 10/2006; 26(17):6412-24. · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy has been used for treatment of breast cancer but with limited success. We characterized the effects of bcl-2 antisense and cisplatin combination therapy in two human isogenic breast carcinoma cells p53(+)MCF-7 and p53(-)MCF-7/E6. The transferrin-facilitated lipofection strategy we have developed yielded same transfection efficiency in both cells. Bcl-2 antisense delivered with this strategy significantly induced more cell death, apoptosis, and cytochrome c release in MCF-7/E6 than in MCF-7, but did not affect Fas level in both cells and activated caspase-8 equally. Cisplatin exerted same effects on cell viability and apoptosis in both cells, but released smaller amounts of cytochrome c while activated more caspase-8 in MCF-7/E6. The combination treatment yielded greater effects on cell viability, apoptosis, cytochrome c release, and caspase-8 activation than individual treatments in both cells although p53(-) cells were more sensitive. The potentiated activation of caspase-8 in the combination treatment suggested that caspase-8-mediated (but cytochrome c-independent) apoptotic pathway is the major contributor of the enhanced cell killing. Thus, bcl-2 antisense delivered with transferrin-facilitated lipofection can achieve the efficacy of killing breast cancer cells and sensitizing them to chemotherapy. Bcl-2 antisense and cisplatin combination treatment is a potentially useful therapeutic strategy for breast cancer irrespective of p53 status.
Journal of Biomedical Science 01/2006; 12(6):999-1011. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinase suppressor of Ras1 (KSR1) interacts with several mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway components, including Raf, MAP/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK), and ERK, and acts as a positive regulator of the Ras signaling cascade. Previous studies have shown that exposure of cells to the anticancer agent cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum, CDDP) is associated with changes in multiple signal transduction pathways, including c-Jun-NH2-kinase, ERK, and p38 pathways. Moreover, ERK activation has been linked to changes in cell survival following CDDP treatment. In this report, we have examined the effects of KSR1 expression on the sensitivity of cells to CDDP-induced apoptosis. Loss of KSR1 expression in mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from KSR1 knockout mice (KSR-/- MEF) is associated with decreased CDDP-induced ERK activation and increased resistance to CDDP-induced apoptosis compared with wild-type MEFs (KSR+/+ MEF). Furthermore, transduction of KSR-/- MEFs and MCF-7 breast cancer cells with wild-type KSR1 resulted in enhanced ERK activation following CDDP exposure and increased sensitivity to CDDP. In addition, inhibition of ERK activation by exposing MEFs to the MEK1/2-specific inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 protected both KSR+/+ and KSR-/- MEFs cells from CDDP-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that KSR1-mediated regulation of ERK activity represents a novel determinant of CDDP sensitivity of cancer cells.
Cancer Research 06/2005; 65(10):3986-92. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this report we describe the isolation of an isogenic pair of Brca1(++) and Brca1(-/-) murine mammary epithelial cells (MMECs). These cells were isolated from Brca1 conditional knock out mice which contained loxP sites flanking exon 11 of the Brca1 gene (Brca1(fl/f1)) and then immortalized by infection with HPV-16E6 retrovirus to degrade p53 protein. Brca1(-/-) MMECs were generated by deletion of exon 11 following transduction of Brca1(fl/f1) MMECs with a retroviral vector expressing Cre recombinase. Brca1-deficiency rendered MMECs sensitive to cis-platinum (II) diamine dichloride (CDDP) and methylmethane sulfonate (MMS). The Brca1(+/+) and Brca1(-/-) MMECS is the only known pair of isogenic mammary epithelial cell lines. The understanding of the mechanisms of the CDDP sensitivity of the BRCA1-deficient mammary epithelial cells would be very important in understanding how BRCA1-deficiency plays out in tissue specific breast cancer chemotherapy. These studies support the role of BRCA1 in the CDDP-induced and MMS-induced DNA damage and repair by p53-independent pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutation in the BRCA1 gene is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Recent studies have shown that the BRCA1 gene product may be important in mediating responses to DNA damage and genomic instability. Previous studies have indicated that overexpression of BRCA1 can induce apoptosis or cell cycle arrest at the G(2)/M border in various cell types. Although the activation of JNK kinase has been implicated in BRCA1-induced apoptosis, the role of other members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family in mediating the cellular response to BRCA1 has not yet been examined. In this study, we monitored the activities of three members of the MAPK family (ERK1/2, JNK, p38) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and U2OS osteosarcoma cells after their exposure to a recombinant adenovirus expressing wild type BRCA1 (Ad.BRCA1). Overexpression of BRCA1 in MCF-7 cells resulted in arrest at the G(2)/M border; however, BRCA1 expression in U2OS cells induced apoptosis. Although BRCA1 induced JNK activation in both cell lines, there were marked differences in ERK1/2 activation in response to BRCA1 expression in these two cell lines. BRCA1-induced apoptosis in U2OS cells was associated with no activation of ERK1/2. In contrast, BRCA1 expression in MCF-7 cells resulted in the activation of both ERK1/2 and JNK. To directly assess the role of ERK1/2 in determining the cellular response to BRCA1, we used dominant negative mutants of MEK1 as well as MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059. Our results indicate that inhibition of ERK1/2 activation resulted in increased apoptosis after BRCA1 expression in MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, BRCA1-induced apoptosis involved activation of JNK, induction of Fas-L/Fas interaction, and activation of caspases 8 and 9. The studies presented in this report indicate that the response to BRCA1 expression is determined by the regulation of both the JNK and ERK1/2 signaling pathways in cells.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2002; 277(36):33422-30. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammary gland biologists have long assumed that differentiated secretory epithelial cells undergo programmed cell death at the end of lactation and that the alveolar compartment is reconstituted from undifferentiated precursor cells in subsequent pregnancies. It is generally agreed that the remodeled gland in a parous animal resembles that of a mature virgin at the morphological level. However, several physiological differences have been noted in comparing the responses of mammary epithelia from nulliparous versus parous females to hormonal stimulation and carcinogenic agents. We present genetic evidence that an involuted mammary gland is fundamentally different from a virgin gland, despite its close morphological resemblance. This difference results from the formation of a new mammary epithelial cell population that originates from differentiating cells during pregnancy. In contrast to the majority of fully committed alveolar cells, this epithelial population does not undergo cell death during involution or remodeling after lactation. We show that these cells can function as alveolar progenitors in subsequent pregnancies and that they can play an important role in functional adaptation in genetically engineered mice, which exhibit a reversion of a lactation-deficient phenotype in multiparous animals. In transplantation studies, this parity-induced epithelial population shows the capacity for self-renewal and contributes significantly to the reconstitution of the resulting mammary outgrowth (i.e. ductal morphogenesis and lobulogenesis). We propose that this parity-induced population contributes importantly to the biological differences between the mammary glands of parous and nulliparous females.
Development 04/2002; 129(6):1377-86. · 6.27 Impact Factor