Bcl-2 overexpression enhances the metastatic potential of a human breast cancer line

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Bcl-2 protein has been shown to contribute to oncogenesis because it can transform and immortalize cells in cooperation with c-myc, ras, or viral genes. However, in vivo studies have not yet established whether bcl-2 can play a role in metastasis. Here we investigate the potential metastatic role of bcl-2. We introduced the human bcl-2 gene into a low bcl-2 expressing human breast cancer cell line MCF7 ADR. We demonstrate that two bcl-2 overexpressing clones injected intravenously or intramuscularly into nude mice induce a significantly higher number of experimental and spontaneous lung metastases compared to the control transfectant clone. We demonstrate that bcl-2 overexpressing clones are more invasive and migratory in response to chemotactic stimuli than the control transfectant clone. Furthermore, zymographic analysis shows that secretion of 72 and 92 kDa gelatinases increases in the two bcl-2 overexpressing transfectants. Tumors originating from bcl-2 overexpressing clones also show a decrease in the latency period of tumor appearance. In conclusion, our data show that bcl-2 overexpression enhances both tumorigenicity and metastatic potential of MCF7 ADR cells by inducing metastasis-associated properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-953
Number of pages7
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


  • Breast carcinoma
  • Invasion
  • Metastasis
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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