Journal Article

Fibulin-5 initiates epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and enhances EMT induced by TGF-β in mammary epithelial cells via a MMP-dependent mechanism

Yong-Hun Lee, Allan R. Albig, MaryAnn Regner, Barbara J. Schiemann and William P. Schiemann

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 29, issue 12, pages 2243-2251
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgn199
Fibulin-5 initiates epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and enhances EMT induced by TGF-β in mammary epithelial cells via a MMP-dependent mechanism

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Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a normal physiological process that regulates tissue development, remodeling and repair; however, aberrant EMT also elicits disease development in humans, including lung fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer cell metastasis. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a master regulator of EMT in normal mammary epithelial cells (MECs), wherein this pleiotropic cytokine also functions as a potent suppressor of mammary tumorigenesis. In contrast, malignant MECs typically evolve resistance to TGF-β-mediated cytostasis and develop the ability to proliferate, invade and metastasize when stimulated by TGF-β. It therefore stands to reason that establishing how TGF-β promotes EMT may offer new insights into targeting the oncogenic activities of TGF-β in human breast cancers. By monitoring alterations in the actin cytoskeleton and various markers of EMT, we show here that the TGF-β gene target, fibulin-5 (FBLN5), initiates EMT and enhances that induced by TGF-β. Whereas normal MECs contain few FBLN5 transcripts, those induced to undergo EMT by TGF-β show significant upregulation of FBLN5 messenger RNA, suggesting that EMT and the dedifferentiation of MECs override the repression of FBLN5 expression in polarized MECs. We also show that FBLN5 stimulated matrix metalloproteinase expression and activity, leading to MEC invasion and EMT, to elevated Twist expression and to reduced E-cadherin expression. Finally, FBLN5 promoted anchorage-independent growth in normal and malignant MECs, as well as enhanced the growth of 4T1 tumors in mice. Taken together, these findings identify a novel EMT and tumor-promoting function for FBLN5 in developing and progressing breast cancers.

Journal Article.  5774 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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