Fusion between cancer cells and macrophages occurs in a murine model of spontaneous neu+ breast cancer without increasing its metastatic potential

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cell fusion between neoplastic and normal cells has been suggested to play a role in the acquisition of a malignant phenotype. Several studies have pointed to the macrophage as the normal partner in this fusion, suggesting that the fused cells could acquire new invasive properties and become able to disseminate to distant organs. However, this conclusion is mainly based on studies with transplantable cell lines. We tested the occurrence of cell fusion in the MMTV-neu model of mouse mammary carcinoma. In the first approach, we generated aggregation chimeras between GFP/ neu and RFP/neu embryos. Tumor cells would display both fluorescent proteins only if cell fusion with normal cells occurred. In addition, if cell fusion conferred a growth/dissemination advantage, cells with both markers should be detectable in lung metastases at increased frequency. We confirmed that fused cells are present at low but consistent levels in primary neoplasms and that the macrophage is the normal partner in the fusion events. Similar results were obtained using a second approach in which bone marrow from mice carrying the Cre transgene was transplanted into MMTV-neu/LoxP-tdTomato transgenic animals, in which the Tomato gene is activated only in the presence of CRE recombinase. However, no fused cells were detected in lung metastases in either model. We conclude that fusion between macrophages and tumor cells does not confer a selective advantage in our spontaneous model of breast cancer, although these data do not rule out a possible role in models in which an inflammation environment is prominent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60793-60806
Number of pages14
JournalOncotarget
Volume7
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Macrophages
Breast Neoplasms
Cell Fusion
Neoplasms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Lung
Recombinases
Genetically Modified Animals
Lycopersicon esculentum
Transgenes
Embryonic Structures
Bone Marrow
Inflammation
Phenotype
Cell Line
Growth
Genes
Proteins

Keywords

  • Cell fusion
  • Macrophage
  • Metastatic spread
  • Neu oncogene
  • Reporter genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

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title = "Fusion between cancer cells and macrophages occurs in a murine model of spontaneous neu+ breast cancer without increasing its metastatic potential",
abstract = "Cell fusion between neoplastic and normal cells has been suggested to play a role in the acquisition of a malignant phenotype. Several studies have pointed to the macrophage as the normal partner in this fusion, suggesting that the fused cells could acquire new invasive properties and become able to disseminate to distant organs. However, this conclusion is mainly based on studies with transplantable cell lines. We tested the occurrence of cell fusion in the MMTV-neu model of mouse mammary carcinoma. In the first approach, we generated aggregation chimeras between GFP/ neu and RFP/neu embryos. Tumor cells would display both fluorescent proteins only if cell fusion with normal cells occurred. In addition, if cell fusion conferred a growth/dissemination advantage, cells with both markers should be detectable in lung metastases at increased frequency. We confirmed that fused cells are present at low but consistent levels in primary neoplasms and that the macrophage is the normal partner in the fusion events. Similar results were obtained using a second approach in which bone marrow from mice carrying the Cre transgene was transplanted into MMTV-neu/LoxP-tdTomato transgenic animals, in which the Tomato gene is activated only in the presence of CRE recombinase. However, no fused cells were detected in lung metastases in either model. We conclude that fusion between macrophages and tumor cells does not confer a selective advantage in our spontaneous model of breast cancer, although these data do not rule out a possible role in models in which an inflammation environment is prominent.",
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T1 - Fusion between cancer cells and macrophages occurs in a murine model of spontaneous neu+ breast cancer without increasing its metastatic potential

AU - Lizier, Michela

AU - Anselmo, Achille

AU - Mantero, Stefano

AU - Ficara, Francesca

AU - Paulis, Marianna

AU - Vezzoni, Paolo

AU - Lucchini, Franco

AU - Pacchiana, Giovanni

PY - 2016

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