In triple negative breast tumor cells, PLC-β2 promotes the conversion of CD133high to CD133low phenotype and reduces the CD133-related invasiveness

Federica Brugnoli, Silvia Grassilli, Manuela Piazzi, Maria Palomba, Ervin Nika, Alberto Bavelloni, Silvano Capitani, Valeria Bertagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Beyond its possible correlation with stemness of tumor cells, CD133/prominin1 is considered an important marker in breast cancer, since it correlates with tumor size, metastasis and clinical stage of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC), to date the highest risk breast neoplasia.Methods: To study the correlation between the levels of CD133 expression and the biology of breast-derived cells, CD133low and CD133high cell subpopulations isolated from triple negative MDA-MB-231 cells were compared in terms of malignant properties and protein expression.Results: High expression of CD133 characterizes cells with larger adhesion area, lower proliferation rate and reduced migration speed, indicative of a less undifferentiated phenotype. Conversely, when compared with CD133low cells, CD133high cells show higher invasive capability and increased expression of proteins involved in metastasis and drug-resistance of breast tumors. Among the signalling proteins examined, PLC-β2 expression inversely correlates with the levels of CD133 and has a role in inducing the CD133high cells to CD133low cells conversion, suggesting that, in TNBC cells, the de-regulation of this PLC isoform is responsible of the switch from an early to a mature tumoral phenotype also by reducing the expression of CD133.Conclusions: Since CD133 plays a role in determining the invasiveness of CD133high cells, it may constitute an attractive target to reduce the metastatic potential of TNBC. In addition, our data showing that the forced up-regulation of PLC-β2 counteracts the invasiveness of CD133-positive MDA-MB-231 cells might contribute to identify unexplored key steps responsible for the TNBC high malignancy, to be considered for potential therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalMolecular Cancer
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 2013

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • CD133
  • Phospholipase C-β2 (PLC-β2)
  • Tumor progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology

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