Inhibition of protein kinase c-Src reduces the incidence of breast cancer metastases and increases survival in mice: Implications for therapy

Nadia Rucci, Irene Recchia, Adriano Angelucci, Marina Alamanou, Andrea Del Fattore, Dario Fortunati, Mira Šuša, Doriano Fabbro, Mauro Bologna, Anna Teti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


c-Src is a proto-oncogene, belonging to the nonreceptor protein kinases family, which plays a prominent role in carcinogenesis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that c-Src could promote breast cancer metastasis acting on several cell types and that pharmacological disruption of its kinase activity could be beneficial for the treatment of metastases. Female BALB/c-nu/nu mice were subjected to intracardiac injection of the human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 (MDA-231), which induced prominent bone and visceral metastases. These were pharmacologically reduced by treatment with the c-Src inhibitor [7-{4-[2-(2-methoxy-ethylamino-ethoxy]-phenyl}-5-(3-methoxy-phenyl) -7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-ylamine] CGP76030 (100 mg/kg/day p.o.), resulting in decreased morbidity and lethality. Metastases were more severe in mice injected with MDA-231 cells stably transfected with wild-type c-Src (MDA-231-SrcWT), whereas transfection in injected cells of a c-Src kinase-dead dominant-negative construct (MDA-231-SrcDN) resulted in reduced morbidity, lethality, and incidence of metastases similar to the mice treated with the inhibitor. An analogous beneficial effect of c-Src inhibition was observed in subcutaneous and intratibial implanted tumors. In vitro, c-Src suppression reduced MDA-231 cell aggressiveness. It also impaired osteoclast bone resorption both directly and by reducing expression by osteoblasts of the osteoclastogenic cytokines interleukin-1β and interleukin-6, whereas parathyroid hormone-related peptide was not implicated. c-Src was also modestly but consistently involved in the enhancement of endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. In conclusion, we propose that c-Src disruption affects the metastatic process and thus is a therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of protein kinase c-Src reduces the incidence of breast cancer metastases and increases survival in mice: Implications for therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this