Expression of two non-mutated genetic elements is sufficient to stimulate oncogenic transformation of human mammary epithelial cells

Vijay Pandey, Min Zhang, Mingliang You, Weijie Zhang, Rumei Chen, Wei Zhang, Lan Ma, Zheng Sheng Wu, Tao Zhu, Xiu Qin Xu, Peter E. Lobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) expression is positively associated with advanced clinicopathological features of mammary carcinoma (MC). Herein, we provide evidence for a functional role of TFF3 in oncogenic transformation of immortalized, but otherwise normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs), namely, HMEC-hTERT, MCF10A, and MCF12A. Forced expression of TFF3 in immortalized-HMECs enhanced cell proliferation, cell survival, anchorage-independent growth, produced highly disorganised three-dimensional (3D) acinar structures and generated tumours in immunocompromised mice. Forced expression of TFF3 in immortalized-HMECs stimulated STAT3 activity that was required for TFF3-stimulated cell proliferation, survival, and anchorage-independent growth. TFF3 specifically utilised STAT3 activity to govern a transcriptional program, which was required for TFF3-stimulated oncogenic transformation of immortalized-HMECs, including transcriptional upregulation of CCND1 and BCL2. siRNA-mediated depletion or functional inhibition of STAT3 significantly inhibited the TFF3-stimulated transcription of CCND1 and BCL2 and oncogenicity in immortalized-HMECs. Furthermore, DOX-inducible expression of TFF3 in HMEC-hTERT cells also permitted anchorage-independent growth and produced disorganized acinar structures in 3D Matrigel culture. Removal of DOX-induced expression of TFF3 in HMEC-hTERT cells, previously grown with DOX, resulted in efficient normalisation of the disorganized acinar architecture and attenuated cell viability in Matrigel culture. Cumulatively, these findings suggest that TFF3 is a potent oncogene and its increased expression along with hTERT in HMECs is sufficient to produce oncogenic transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1147
JournalCell Death and Disease
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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