PloS one

Human adipocytes stimulate invasion of breast cancer MCF-7 cells by secreting IGFBP-2.

PMID 25747684


A better understanding of the effects of human adipocytes on breast cancer cells may lead to the development of new treatment strategies. We explored the effects of adipocytes on the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. To study the reciprocal effects of adipocytes and cancer cells, we co-cultured human mature adipocytes and breast cancer cells in a system devoid of heterogeneous cell-cell contact. To analyze the factors that were secreted from adipocytes and that affected the invasive abilities of breast cancer cells, we detected different cytokines in various co-culture media. To study the communication of mature adipocytes and breast cancer cells in vivo, we chose 10 metastatic pathologic samples and 10 non-metastatic pathologic samples to do immunostaining. The co-culture media of human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and human mature adipocytes increased motility of MCF-7 cells. In addition, MMP-2 was remarkably up-regulated, whereas E-cadherin was down-regulated in these MCF-7 cells. Based on our co-culture medium chip results, we chose four candidate cytokines and tested their influence on metastasis individually. We found that IGFBP-2 enhanced the invasion ability of MCF-7 cells in vitro more prominently than did the other factors. In vivo, metastatic human breast tumors had higher levels of MMP-2 than did non-metastatic tumor tissue, whereas adipocytes around metastatic breast tumors had higher levels of IGFBP-2 than did adipocytes surrounding non-metastatic breast tumors. IGFBP-2 secreted by mature adipocytes plays a key role in promoting the metastatic ability of MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

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CKOZFN10521 CompoZr® Knockout ZFN Kit, Human IGFBP2 (NM_000597)