Bone morphogenetic protein signaling enhances invasion and bone metastasis of breast cancer cells through Smad pathway

Y Katsuno, A Hanyu, H Kanda, Y Ishikawa, F Akiyama, T Iwase, E Ogata, S Ehata, K Miyazono, T Imamura
Oncogene 2008 October 23, 27 (49): 6322-33
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is known to promote tumor invasion and metastasis. Although bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the TGF-beta family, are expressed in a variety of human carcinoma cell lines, their roles in tumor progression have not been fully clarified. In this study, we sought to determine the roles of BMPs in the progression of breast cancer bone metastasis using human breast cancer samples and a mouse xenograft model. Immunohistochemical analysis of samples from breast cancer patients as well as a mouse xenograft model of MDA-231-D, highly metastatic human breast cancer cells, revealed phospho-Smad2 and phospho-Smad1/5/8 staining in the nuclei of cancer cells in primary tumor and/or bone metastasis. Using a functional in vivo bioluminescence imaging system, we showed that TGF-beta- and BMP-induced transcriptional pathways are active in bone metastatic lesions in vivo. In addition, both TGF-beta3 and BMP-2 promoted the motility and invasiveness of the MDA-231-D cells in vitro. Moreover, expression of dominant-negative receptors for TGF-beta and/or BMPs in the MDA-231-D cells inhibited invasiveness in vitro and bone metastasis in the xenograft model. These results suggest that BMPs as well as TGF-beta promote invasion and bone metastasis of breast cancer.

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