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Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 15;69(22):8579-84. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1934. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

Inhibition of lipocalin 2 impairs breast tumorigenesis and metastasis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77054, USA.


Lipocalin 2 (LCN2; also known as NGAL) is a secreted glycoprotein and its elevated expression has been observed in breast cancers. However, the importance of LCN2 in breast tumorigenesis is unclear. Here, we employed a spontaneous mammary tumor mouse model showing that MMTV-ErbB2(V664E) mice lacking mouse LCN2 had significantly delayed mammary tumor formation and metastasis with reduced matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in the blood. LCN2 expression is upregulated by HER2/phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT/NF-kappaB pathway. Decreasing LCN2 expression significantly reduced the invasion and migration ability of HER2(+) breast cancer cells. Furthermore, injecting an anti-mouse LCN2 antibody into mice bearing established murine breast tumors resulted in significant blockage of lung metastasis. Our findings indicate that LCN2 is a critical factor in enhancing breast tumor formation and progression possibly in part by stabilizing matrix metalloproteinase-9. Our results suggest that inhibition of LCN2 function by an inhibitory monoclonal antibody has potential for breast cancer therapy, particularly by interfering with metastasis in aggressive types of breast cancer.

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