P190-B Rho GTPase-Activating Protein Overexpression Disrupts Ductal Morphogenesis and Induces Hyperplastic Lesions in the Developing Mammary Gland

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States
Molecular Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 4.02). 06/2006; 20(6):1391-405. DOI: 10.1210/me.2005-0426
Source: PubMed


p190-B Rho GTPase activating protein is essential for mammary gland development because p190-B deficiency prevents ductal morphogenesis. To investigate the role of p190-B during distinct stages of mammary gland development, tetracycline-regulatable p190-B-overexpressing mice were generated. Short-term induction of p190-B in the developing mammary gland results in abnormal terminal end buds (TEBs) that exhibit aberrant budding off the neck, histological anomalies, and a markedly thickened stroma. Overexpression of p190-B throughout postnatal development results in increased branching, delayed ductal elongation, and disorganization of the ductal tree. Interestingly, overexpression of p190-B during pregnancy results in hyperplastic lesions. Several cellular and molecular alterations detected within the aberrant TEBs may contribute to these phenotypes. Signaling through the IGF pathway is altered, and the myoepithelial cell layer is discontinuous at sites of aberrant budding. An increase in collagen and extensive infiltration of macrophages, which have recently been implicated in branching morphogenesis, is observed in the stroma surrounding the p190-B-overexpressing TEBs. We propose that the stromal response, disruption of the myoepithelial layer, and alterations in IGF signaling in the p190-B-overexpressing mice impact the TEB architecture, leading to disorganization and increased branching of the ductal tree. Moreover, we suggest that alterations in tissue architecture and the adjacent stroma as a consequence of p190-B overexpression during pregnancy leads to loss of growth control and the formation of hyperplasia. These data demonstrate that precise control of p190-B Rho GTPase-activating protein activity is critical for normal branching morphogenesis during mammary gland development.

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Available from: Brandy Heckman-Stoddard, Aug 15, 2014
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    • "It is interesting to note that overexpression of Cdc42 and p190B RhoGAP in the developing postnatal mammary gland have similar phenotypes, including abnormal TEBs, hyperbranching, and increased stromal deposition [17]. Similar to the Cdc42-overexpressing MECs, p190B-overexpressing MECs also display increased contractility [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Rho GTPase Cdc42 is overexpressed and hyperactivated in breast tumors compared to normal breast tissue. Cdc42 regulates key processes that are critical for mammary gland morphogenesis and become disrupted during the development, progression, and metastasis of breast cancer. However, the contribution of Cdc42 to normal and neoplastic mammary gland development in vivo remains poorly understood. We were therefore interested in investigating the effects of Cdc42 overexpression on mammary gland morphogenesis as a first step towards understanding how its overexpression may contribute to mammary tumorigenesis. We developed a tetracycline-regulatable Cdc42 overexpression mouse model in which Cdc42 can be inducibly overexpressed in the developing mammary gland. The effects of Cdc42 overexpression during postnatal mammary gland development were investigated using in vivo and in vitro approaches, including morphometric analysis of wholemounted mammary glands, quantification of histological markers, and primary mammary epithelial cell (MEC) functional and biochemical assays. Analysis of Cdc42 overexpressing mammary glands revealed abnormal terminal end bud (TEB) morphologies, characterized by hyperbudding and trifurcation, and increased side branching within the ductal tree. Quantification of markers of proliferation and apoptosis suggested that these phenotypes were not due to increased cell proliferation or survival. Rather, Cdc42 overexpressing MECs were more migratory and contractile and formed dysmorphic, invasive acini in three-dimensional cultures. Cdc42 and RhoA activities, phosphorylated myosin light chain, and MAPK signaling, which contribute to migration and invasion, were markedly elevated in Cdc42 overexpressing MECs. Interestingly, Cdc42 overexpressing mammary glands displayed several features associated with altered epithelial-stromal interactions, which are known to regulate branching morphogenesis. These included increased stromal thickness and collagen deposition, and stromal cells isolated from Cdc42 overexpressing mammary glands exhibited elevated mRNA expression of extracellular matrix proteins and remodeling enzymes. These data suggest that Cdc42 overexpression disrupts mammary gland branching morphogenesis by altering Rho GTPase and MAPK signaling, leading to increased MEC contractility and migration in association with stromal alterations. Our studies provide insight into how aberrant Cdc42 expression may contribute to mammary tumorigenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Breast cancer research: BCR
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    • "TetO-p190B/MMTV-rtTA (p190B overexpressing) mice [18], MMTV-rtTA (control) mice [21], and FVB mice (wildtype) were used for these studies. All studies were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine (Protocol Number 14-015) and were conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the U.S. Public Health Service Policy for Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rho GTPases mediate stromal-epithelial interactions that are important for mammary epithelial cell (MEC) morphogenesis. Increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and reorganization affect MEC morphogenesis in a Rho GTPase-dependent manner. Although the effects of altered ECM on MEC morphogenesis have been described, how MECs regulate stromal deposition is not well understood. Previously, we showed that p190B RhoGAP overexpression disrupts mammary gland morphogenesis by inducing hyperbranching in association with stromal alterations. We therefore hypothesized that MEC overexpression of p190B regulates paracrine interactions to impact fibroblast activation. Using a combination of in vivo morphometric and immunohistochemical analyses and primary cell culture assays, we found that p190B overexpression in MECs activates fibroblasts leading to increased collagen, fibronectin, and laminin production and elevated expression of the collagen crosslinking enzyme lysyl oxidase. Phosphorylation of the TGF-β effector SMAD2 and expression of the TGF-β target gene αSma were increased in p190B-associated fibroblasts, suggesting that elevated TGF-β signaling promoted fibroblast activation. Mechanical tension and TGF-β cooperate to activate fibroblasts. Interestingly, active TGF-β was elevated in conditioned medium from p190B overexpressing MECs compared to control MECs, and p190B overexpressing MECs exhibited increased contractility in a collagen gel contraction assay. These data suggest that paracrine signaling from the p190B overexpressing MECs may activate TGF-β signaling in adjacent fibroblasts. In support of this, transfer of conditioned medium from p190B overexpressing MECs onto wildtype fibroblasts or co-culture of p190B overexpressing MECs with wildtype fibroblasts increased SMAD2 phosphorylation and mRNA expression of ECM genes in the fibroblasts when compared to fibroblasts treated with control CM or co-cultured with control MECs. The increased ECM gene expression and SMAD2 phosphorylation were blocked by treatment with a TGF-β receptor inhibitor. Taken together, these data suggest that p190B overexpression in the mammary epithelium induces fibroblast activation via elevated TGF-β paracrine signaling.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Nevertheless, generation of transgenic tumour models which are ‘compatible’ with bioluminescence-based imaging is hampered by the necessity for dual expression of both the transgene and the luciferase gene in the tissue of interest. For newly generated models, this can be successfully achieved on a case-by-case basis via the use of bicistronic vectors in which cDNA of the transgene is followed by an IRES sequence and then by the cDNA for luciferase [15-17]. However, luciferase expression from bicistronic vectors is a reporter for the particular transgene expression rather than a marker of the ‘specific tissue content’ and, as such, should be used with caution for visualisation of the transgene-induced overgrowth of the malignant tissue. "
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous transgenic models have been generated to study breast cancer. However, despite many advantages, traditional transgenic models for breast cancer are also burdened with difficulties in early detection and longitudinal observation of transgene-induced tumours, which in most cases are randomly located and occur at various time points. Methods such as palpation followed by mechanical measurement of the tumours are of limited value in transgenic models. There is a crucial need for making these previously generated models suitable for modern methods of tumour visualisation and monitoring, e.g. by bioluminescence-based techniques. This approach was successfully used in the current study. A new mouse strain (MMTV-Luc2 mice) expressing Luc2 luciferase primarily in mammary tissue in females, with low-level background expression in internal organs, was generated and bred to homozygosity. After these mice were intercrossed with MMTV-PyVT mice, all double transgenic females developed mammary tumours by the age of 10 weeks, the localisation and progression of which could be effectively monitored using the luminescence-based in vivo imaging. Luminescence-based readout allowed for early visualisation of the locally overgrown mammary tissue and for longitudinal evaluation of local progression of the tumours. When sampled ex vivo at the age of 10 weeks, all tumours derived from MMTV-Luc2PyVT females displayed robust bioluminescent signal. We have created a novel transgenic strain for visualisation and longitudinal monitoring of mammary tumour development in transgenic mice as an addition and/or a new and more advanced alternative to manual methods. Generation of this mouse strain is vital for making many of the existing mammary tumour transgenic models applicable for in vivo imaging techniques.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · BMC Cancer
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