Mitogenic effect of the 15-kDa gross cystic disease fluid protein (GCDFP-15) on breast-cancer cell lines and on immortal mammary cells

P. Cassoni, A. Sapino, D. E. Haagensen, C. Naldoni, G. Bussolati

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The biological significance of a major protein component in the fluid of gross cystic breast disease and a recognized marker of apocrine metaplasia, i.e. the 15-kDa glycoprotein (GCDFP-15), is presently unknown. We have added GCDFP-15 to cell culture medium and tested its effect on proliferation of 4 human breast-cancer cell lines (MCF7, BT474, MDA-MB231 and T47D) and a 'normal' human immortal breast-cell line (MCF10A). These breast-cell lines showed a mitogenic response to GCDFP-15 (10 pg/ml). GCDFP-15 enhanced cell growth of the MCF10A, MCF7, BT474 and MDA-MB231 cell lines at both 48 and 96 hr of exposure. The glycoprotein exerted a mitogenic effect on the T47D cell line at 48 hr but not at 96 hr. This may be due to an auto-regulatory effect of endogenous GCDFP-15 synthesized by the T47D cells. GCDFP-15 was ineffective on 2 colon-cancer cell lines (HT29 and NIC-H716), on the IMR32 neuroblastoma cell line and on the NIC-H269 small-cell lung carcinoma cells. A separate major breast cystic disease fluid protein of 24 kDa (GCDFP-24) was tested, following the same experimental design, on the 5 breast-cell lines, and showed, no mitogenic activity. The mitogenic effect of GCDFP-15 observed in this study in both 'normal' and malignant breast epithelial cells suggests a possible relationship between apocrine metaplasia in breast cystic disease and the development of breast epithelial hyperplasia. In addition, a possible role of GCDFP-I5 in breast-cancer progression should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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