The erbB2 gene is often found amplified and/or overexpressed in breast cancer in which it has clinical relevance as prognostic and predictive factor. It is involved in growth regulation and has a role in the initial phases of cell proliferation, while in vivo and in vitro studies have suggested an involvement also in cell invasion and metastases. It is not clear if these two roles are mutually exclusive and little is known about the mechanisms by which erbB2 may be involved in the control of these processes. Our previous data on patient series suggested that erbB2 might be regulated in different ways depending on the neoplastic status of the cells and that it might be involved in different regulatory pathways. To test this hypothesis we have measured the serum-dependent regulation of erbB2 as a function of the expression of the antimetastatic gene, nm23, in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. The experimental model consisted of three cell lines having different proliferative and invasive potentials: a non-metastatic estrogen receptor (ER) positive cell line, MCF-7; a highly metastatic ER negative cell line, MDA-MB435; and the MDA-MB435 cell line transfected with the nm23-H1 antimetastatic gene (clone H1-177) which has lost the ability to invade and metastasize. We first analysed the serum concentration dependence of invasion and proliferation after 3-4 days of serum deprivation confirming the proliferative and invasive potential of the three cell lines. Modulation of erbB2 expression by different concentrations of serum was then studied. ErbB2 expression in MCF-7 cells showed a complex pattern due to serum modulation, whereas, it was not longer regulated by serum in the MDA-MB435 cell line. In H1-177 cells the erbB2 response to serum was restored and it was very similar to that observed in MCF-7. These data showed a tight association between nm23 and the regulation of erbB2 expression by serum factors suggesting that the role of erbB2 in invasion might be dependent on nm23 expression.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||International Journal of Molecular Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2003|
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