Allison B Moffa

Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan, United States

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Publications (4)18.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer development is associated with gene amplification and over expression that is believed to have a causative role in oncogenesis. Previous studies have demonstrated that over expression of TC-1(C8orf4) mRNA occurs in approximately 50% of breast cancer cell lines and primary tumor specimens. Here, we show that TC-1 has transforming properties in human mammary epithelial (HME) cells and its expression is mechanistically linked to FGFR signaling cascades. In vitro experiments demonstrate that TC-1 over expression mediates both anchorage-independent and growth factor-independent proliferation of HME cells. TC-1 was down regulated by the FGFR inhibitor PD173074 in the breast cancer cell line SUM-52 that also has an FGFR2 gene amplification and over expression. Furthermore, forced expression of FGFR2 in HME cells increased the level of expression of endogenous TC-1 mRNA. TC-1 has been implicated as a modulator of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in 293 cells and in gastric cancer cells. However, while we did find increased expression of a subset of beta-catenin target genes in TC-1 over expressing cells, we did not find an association of TC-1 with global expression of beta-catenin target genes in our cells. Taken together, our data suggest that TC-1 over expression is transforming and may link with the FGFR pathway in a subset of breast cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · International Journal of Cancer
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    Allison B Moffa · Stephen P Ethier
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    ABSTRACT: Gene amplification and protein overexpression of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) characterize the SUM-52 breast cancer cell line developed in our laboratory. SUM-52 cells express nine distinct alternatively spliced isoforms of FGFR2. Among these isoforms are two otherwise identical FGFR2 variants that express either the C1 or C3 carboxyl terminus. FGFR2-C3 variants are not normally expressed by human mammary epithelial (HME) cells, and we have shown that overexpression of FGFR2-C3 in HME cells results in potent transformation. In particular, FGFR2-C3 expression leads to robust levels of constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated FRS2 in the absence of ligand stimulation. In contrast, overexpressed FGFR2-C1 requires constant stimulation with exogenous keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) to mimic the signaling capability of FGFR2-C3. However, activation of FRS2 that results from KGF-stimulated FGFR2-C1 signaling is transient and is associated with a mobility shift of FRS2 not observed when this signaling molecule is activated by the C3 isoform of FGFR2. Mutation of the only tyrosine phosphorylated site present in the C1 terminus and absent from C3, Tyr769, did not yield a receptor that rivaled the potent signaling of FGFR2-C3. We therefore conclude that aberrant expression of alternatively spliced isoforms of FGFR2 with the C3 carboxyl terminus in the SUM-52 breast cancer cells results in sustained activation of signal transduction leading to transformation.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2007 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: A combination of protein microarrays and two-dimensional liquid-phase separation of proteins has been used for global profiling of the phosphoproteome in human breast cancer cells. This method has been applied to study changes in phosphorylation profile resulting from treatment of the cancer cells with PD173074, a known receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The proteins separated by 2-D liquid-phase separation were arrayed on epoxy-coated glass slides and first screened for phosphorylation using fluorescent Pro-Q Diamond stain. The candidate proteins were then identified using MALDI/ESI MS/MS analysis. Further, validation was achieved by immunoblot analysis using anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies. A dynamic range of approximately 100 was achieved on the microarray when beta-casein was used as a standard protein for obtaining quantitative data. Importantly, the power of this method lies in its ability to identify a large group of proteins in a single experiment that are coregulated in their posttranslational modifications, upon treatment with the inhibitor. Since proteins are known to form interacting circuits that eventually lead to various signaling events, detection of such global phosphorylation profiles might enable delineation of functional pathways that play an important role during cancer initiation and progression.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Analytical Chemistry
  • Allison B Moffa · Stacey L Tannheimer · Stephen P Ethier
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    ABSTRACT: A breast cancer cell line developed in our laboratory (SUM-52PE) has a 12-fold amplification and high-level overexpression of the oncogene fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2). Previously, nine different alternatively spliced FGFR2 variants were isolated from this cell line. Overexpression of two variants that differ only in their carboxyl termini (C1 and C3) has been successfully accomplished in the immortalized human mammary epithelial cell line H16N2. FGFR2 expression led to the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling cascades. Phosphorylation of the adapter protein FGF receptor substrate 2 is much more robust in the cells expressing the C3 variant of FGFR2 compared with the C1 variant. H16N2 cells expressing the full-length FGFR2 with the C1 or C3 carboxyl terminus were tested for their ability to grow under epidermal growth factor (EGF)-independent conditions, in soft agar, and for their ability to invade naturally occurring basement membranes and compared with the parental SUM-52PE cell line. All three cell lines grew under EGF-independent conditions and all were inhibited by the FGFR family specific inhibitor PD173074. The full-length FGFR2-C1 and FGFR2-C3 variants grew robustly in soft agar similar to the parental cell line SUM-52PE. However, cells expressing the C3 variant formed large colonies in agar in both insulin-free and EGF-free medium, whereas the cells expressing the C1 variant required insulin for growth. Soft agar growth was also inhibited by PD173074. Because SUM-52PE was developed from a metastatic breast carcinoma, the FGFR2-overexpressing cell lines were assessed for their ability to invade sea urchin embryo cell membranes. H16N2 cells expressing the C1 carboxyl terminus failed to invade sea urchin embryo cell membranes. By contrast, FGFR2-C3-expressing cells were as invasive as the SUM-52 breast cancer cells and erbB-2-overexpressing H16N2 cells. These results indicate that FGFR2 is a transforming oncogene in human mammary epithelial cells when expressed to levels similar to that found in breast cancer cells with FGFR2 gene amplification. Furthermore, the results suggest that different splice variants have differing transforming activities and that signaling from variants expressing the C3 carboxyl terminus results in more autonomous signaling, cell growth, and invasion.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2004 · Molecular Cancer Research

Publication Stats

153 Citations
18.94 Total Impact Points


  • 2007
    • Karmanos Cancer Institute
      • Division of Hematology and Oncology
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
    • University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2004
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States