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Br J Cancer. 2007 Sep 17;97(6):809-17. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

PLD1 is overexpressed in an ER-negative MCF-7 cell line variant and a subset of phospho-Akt-negative breast carcinomas.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Morrill 1 North, Amherst, MA 01003-9298, USA.


We have used a novel variant of the human oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF-7 cell line, TMX2-28, as a model to study breast cancer. TMX2-28 cells show no detectable levels of mRNA or protein expression for the ER and express basal cytokeratins (CKs) 5, 14, and 17. cDNA microarray comparison between TMX2-28 and its parent cell line, MCF-7, identified 1402 differentially expressed transcripts, one of which was, phospholipase D1 (PLD1). Using real-time RT-PCR, we confirmed that PLD1 mRNA levels are 10-fold higher in TMX2-28 cells than in MCF-7 cells. We next examined PLD1 expression in human breast carcinomas. Phospholipase D1 mRNA levels were higher in breast tumours that expressed high-mRNA levels of basal CKs 5 and/or 17, but PLD1 mRNA levels were not significantly higher in ER-negative tumours. Phospholipase D1 protein was overexpressed in 10 of 42 (24%) breast tumours examined by IHC. Phospholipase D1 was overexpressed in 6 of 31 ER-positive tumours and 4 of 11 ER-negative tumours. Phospholipase D1 was overexpressed in three of the four tumours that showed high CK5/17 expression. Five PLD1-positive tumours were negative for phospho-Akt expression, but positive for phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) expression. The other five PLD1-positive breast tumours showed positive expression for phospho-Akt; however, only two of these cases were positive for phospho-mTOR. In this study, we report that PLD1 and phospho-mTOR are coexpressed in a subset of phospho-Akt-negative breast carcinomas.

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