Cancer research

Growth factor dependency and gene expression in preneoplastic mouse mammary epithelial cells.

PMID 8425201


The TM preneoplastic mammary outgrowth lines were established in vivo from mammary epithelial cell lines and have been characterized with respect to their tumorigenic, morphological, and functional properties. The TM outgrowth lines were then established as in vitro cell lines. A comparison of the growth factor dependencies of the TM preneoplastic lines and their progenitor cell lines grown in monolayer cell culture indicated that the TM preneoplastic cell lines exhibited a decreased dependence on epidermal growth factor for growth in vitro. The exception to this result was the TM3 cell line which still exhibited a marked dependence on epidermal growth factor for growth. An examination of several genes for mRNA levels indicated that the expression of c-neu, c-H-ras, c-myc, and retinoblastoma was not elevated in those TM preneoplasias which exhibited a decreased dependence on epidermal growth factor. Additionally, there was no evidence that c-H-ras was activated in the preneoplastic outgrowths or tumors. In contrast, mouse mammary tumor virus long terminal repeat mRNA was increased in preneoplasias and tumors, whereas gelsolin mRNA was decreased in tumors but not in preneoplasias. The down-regulation of gelsolin mRNA is consistent with recent reports in human breast cancers. These results together with those reported in another paper (D. Medina et al., Cancer Res., 53: 663-667, 1993) indicate that the TM3 outgrowth line is a minimally deviated preneoplasia which does not share many of the molecular alterations exhibited in tumorigenic TM preneoplastic outgrowth lines. These data, along with other recent data, are interpreted in a hypothesis which views the three essential characteristics of the mammary preneoplastic state as independent and dissociable genetic alterations. Importantly, each of the three characteristics is independently isolated in one or more of the in vivo outgrowth populations. These outgrowth lines should allow identification of the nature and function of the molecular alterations associated with each stage of mammary preneoplasia.

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TM3, 91060526