TBX3, the gene mutated in ulnar-mammary syndrome, promotes growth of mammary epithelial cells via repression of p19ARF, independently of p53

Dulbecco Telethon Institute/CNR-ITB, Via F lli Cervi 93 Segrate, Milano, Italy.
Cell and Tissue Research (Impact Factor: 3.57). 06/2007; 328(2):301-16. DOI: 10.1007/s00441-006-0364-4
Source: PubMed


TBX3, the gene mutated in ulnar-mammary syndrome (UMS), is involved in the production of a transcription factor of the T-box family, known to inhibit transcription from the p14ARF (p19ARF in mouse) promoter in fibroblasts and to contribute to cell immortalization. One of the main features of the UMS phenotype is the severe hypoplasia of the breast, associated with haploinsufficiency of the TBX3 gene product. In mice homozygous for the targeted disruption of Tbx3, the mammary glands (MGs) are nearly absent from early stages of embryogenesis, whereas in heterozygous adults, the MGs show reduced ductal branching. All these data strongly suggest a specific role of TBX3 in promoting the growth of mammary epithelial cells (MECs), although direct evidence of this is lacking. Here, we provide data showing the growth-promoting function of Tbx3 in several models of MECs, in association with its ability to repress the ARF promoter. However, no effect of Tbx3 on cell differentiation or apoptosis has been observed. The growth promoting function also entails the down-regulation of p21
and an increase in cyclin D1 but is independent of p53 and Mdm2 cell-cycle regulatory proteins, as p53-null MECs show similar growth responses associated with the up- or down-regulation of Tbx3. This is the first direct evidence that the level of Tbx3 expression positively controls the proliferation of MECs via pathways alternative to Mdm2-p53.

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Available from: Gloria Bertoli, Apr 02, 2015
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    • "Several in vitro studies have suggested that the over-expression of Tbx3/TBX3 leads to the bypass of senescence and promotes cell proliferation [8,16,21,33,34]. To determine whether the observed accelerated development of the mammary glands in TBX3 over-expressing mice is due to an increase in cell proliferation, we performed an EdU cell proliferation assay. "
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    ABSTRACT: The T-box transcription factor TBX3 is necessary for early embryonic development and for the normal development of the mammary gland. Homozygous mutations, in mice, are embryonic lethal while heterozygous mutations result in perturbed mammary gland development. In humans, mutations that result in the haploinsufficiency of TBX3 causes Ulnar Mammary Syndrome (UMS) characterized by mammary gland hypoplasia as well as other congenital defects. In addition to its role in mammary gland development, various studies have also supported a role for Tbx3 in breast cancer development. TBX3 is over-expressed in various breast cancer cell lines as well as cancer tissue and has been found to contribute to breast cancer cell migration. Previous studies have suggested that TBX3 contributes to cancer development by its ability to bypass senescence by repressing the expression of p14(ARF)-tumor suppressor. Although many studies have shown that a dysregulation of TBX3 expression may contribute to cancer progression, no direct evidence shows TBX3 causes breast cancer. In this study, we created doxycycline inducible double transgenic mice (MMTV-rtTA;tet-myc-TBX3-IRES-Luciferase) to test whether TBX3 over-expression can induce tumor formation within the mammary gland. Although over-expression of TBX3, alone, did not induce tumor formation it did promote accelerated mammary gland development by increasing mammary epithelial cell proliferation. We also show that TBX3 directly binds to and represses NFκBIB, an inhibitor of the NF-κB pathway known to play a role in regulating cell proliferation. Lastly, we also show that the over-expression of TBX3 is associated with an increase in mammary stem-like cells. Overall, our data suggests that over-expression of TBX3 may contribute to breast cancer development by promoting accelerated mammary gland development through the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway and stimulation of both mammary epithelial cell and stem-like cell proliferation.
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