Sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) expression has recently been described in human breast cancer, with emphasis on its potential exploitation for the treatment of these tumors with radioiodine. In this study, we analyzed the regulation of NIS expression and function in the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line. Cell exposure to insulin, IGF-I, IGF-II, or prolactin induced significant increases in 125I uptake and the expression of both NIS mRNA and NIS protein. The latter increases were evident after 6 and 12 h of hormonal stimulation, respectively. In immunocytochemistry studies, NIS was detected mainly in the plasma membrane of MCF-7 cells. A low but significant increase in iodide uptake was produced by treatment with activators of the adenylyl cyclase (cAMP) or protein kinase C pathways. Our study demonstrates that: 1) MCF-7 breast cancer cells are capable of active iodide transport that can be stimulated by insulin, IGF-I, IGF-II, or prolactin; 2) both NIS transcript and protein are expressed in these cells, and this expression is also hormonally stimulated; and 3) MCF-7 iodide transport and NIS expression may be influenced by the activation of cAMP or protein kinase C-dependent signaling. These findings increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate NIS expression in breast cancer cells, information that is fundamental for future research aimed at the development of targeted radioiodide treatment for this type of cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism