Differential osteopontin expression in phenotypically distinct subclones of murine breast cancer cells mediates metastatic behavior.
Cancer progression depends on an accumulation of metastasis-supporting cell signaling molecules, which target signal transduction pathways and, ultimately, gene expression. One such molecule, osteopontin (OPN), represents a key molecular signaling event in tumor progression and metastasis. However, the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that underlie OPN expression in the setting of breast cancer have not been well studied. In this regard, we have examined the differential transcriptional regulation of OPN in the murine mammary epithelial tumor cell lines, 4T1 and 4T07, which are sublines derived from the parental population of 410.4 cells from Balb/cfC3H mice. These lines are phenotypically heterogeneous in their metastatic behavior. 4T1 hematogenously metastasizes to the lung, liver, bone, and brain, whereas 4T07 is highly tumorigenic but fails to metastasize. The tumor growth and metastatic spread of 4T1 cells closely mimics stage IV breast cancer. We demonstrate that a Ras-independent, phosphoinositide-3 kinase-dependent, c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent phosphorylation of c-Jun results in binding of an AP-1 c-Jun homodimer to the OPN promoter in 4T1 cells. This differential up-regulation of OPN gene transcription and protein expression in 4T1 cells conveys in vitro correlates of a metastatic phenotype. These results provide new insight into the transcriptional regulation of OPN as a key mediator of metastatic behavior in malignancy.
Mi, Z; Guo, H; Wai, PY; Gao, C; Wei, J; Kuo, PC
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