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Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2012 Feb;35(1):19-28. doi: 10.1007/s13402-011-0058-0. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

BMP-7 inhibits TGF-β-induced invasion of breast cancer cells through inhibition of integrin β(3) expression.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Centre for Biomedical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily comprises cytokines such as TGF-β and Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs), which have a critical role in a multitude of biological processes. In breast cancer, high levels of TGF-β are associated with poor outcome, whereas inhibition of TGF-β-signaling reduces metastasis. In contrast, BMP-7 inhibits bone metastasis of breast cancer cells.


In this study, we investigated the effect of BMP-7 on TGF-β-induced invasion in a 3 dimensional invasion assay.


BMP-7 inhibited TGF-β-induced invasion of the metastatic breast cancer cell line MCF10CA1a, but not of its premalignant precursor MCF10AT in a spheroid invasion model. The inhibitory effect appears to be specific for BMP-7, as its closest homolog, BMP-6, did not alter the invasion of MCF10CA1a spheroids. To elucidate the mechanism by which BMP-7 inhibits TGF-β-induced invasion, we analyzed invasion-related genes. BMP-7 inhibited TGF-β-induced expression of integrin α(v)β(3) in the spheroids. Moreover, targeting of integrins by a chemical inhibitor or knockdown of integrin β(3) negatively affected TGF-β-induced invasion. On the other hand, overexpression of integrin β(3) counteracted the inhibitory effect of BMP7 on TGF-β-induced invasion.


Thus, BMP-7 may exert anti-invasive actions by inhibiting TGF-β-induced expression of integrin β(3).

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