Osteopontin up-regulates critical epithelial-mesenchymal transition transcription factors to induce an aggressive breast cancer phenotype.
BACKGROUND: Tumor cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) develop cellular properties leading to stroma invasion and intravasation. We have previously shown in a xenograft breast cancer model that blocking osteopontin (OPN), a secreted phosphoprotein, decreases EMT. This study examines OPN's role in EMT initiation through its regulation of EMT transcription factors (TFs) Snail, Slug, and Twist. OPN's role in Twist activation is examined through immunoprecipitation and Western blot. STUDY DESIGN: MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells secreting high levels of OPN were treated with OPN aptamer (APT) or mutant APT. Osteopontin APT binds to and inhibits extracellular OPN. Low-OPN-secreting breast cancer cells, MCF-7, were treated with OPN, OPN+APT, or OPN+mutant APT. Twist was isolated in MDA-MB-231 with immunoprecipitation. Phospho-serine antibody detected activated Twist in Western blot. Activation of Twist was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. RESULTS: Analysis through quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated APT inhibition of OPN in MDA-MB-231 cells caused a decrease in EMT-TF expression (MDA-MB-231 vs MDA-MB-231+APT: *Twist ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 0.07; *Snail ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 0.11; *Slug ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 0.11; *p < 0.001). Mutant APT did not change EMT-TF expression (NS). Treatment of MCF-7 cells with OPN caused an increase in EMT-TF expression (MCF-7 vs MCF-7+OPN: Twist ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 9.1; *Snail ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 11.2; *Slug ΔΔCT: 1.0 vs 10.9; *p < 0.001). The EMT-TF expression in MCF-7 treated with OPN+APT did not differ significantly from MCF-7 alone. Phosphorylated Twist protein was reduced 2-fold with APT in MDA-MB-231 compared with MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-231+mutant APT. Twist phorphorylation induced binding to the promoter regions of Twist-regulated gene, B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 homolog, a critical protein for EMT progression. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that OPN is critical in EMT initiation through activation of Twist via serine phosphorylation. These unique observations indicate that OPN APT can serve a clinical role as a novel therapeutic agent by diminishing breast cancer oncogenesis.
- Li, NY; Weber, CE; Mi, Z; Wai, PY; Cuevas, BD; Kuo, PC
- July 2013
Volume / Issue
- 217 / 1
Start / End Page
- 17 - 26
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
- United States