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Exp Cell Res. 2001 Sep 10;269(1):97-108.

Protein kinase Calpha expression confers retinoic acid sensitivity on MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells.

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Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Retinoic acid activation of retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha) induces protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha) expression and inhibits proliferation of the hormone-dependent T-47D breast cancer cell line. Retinoic acid has no effect on proliferation or PKCalpha expression in a hormone-independent, breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231). To test the role of PKCalpha in retinoic acid-induced growth arrest of human breast cancer cells we established MDA-MB-231 cell lines stably expressing PKCalpha. Constitutive expression of PKCalpha did not affect proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells but did result in partial retinoic acid sensitivity. Retinoic acid treatment of PKCalpha-MDA-MB-231 cells decreased proliferation (by approximately 40%) and inhibited serum activation of MAP kinases and induction of c-fos. Similar results were seen in MDA-MB-231 cells in which transcription of the transfected PKCalpha cDNA was reversibly induced by isopropyl beta-d-thiogalactoside. Expression of RARalpha in PKCalpha expressing MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in even greater retinoic acid responses, as measured by effects on cell proliferation, inhibition of serum signaling, and transactivation of an RARE-CAT reporter plasmid. In summary, PKCalpha synergizes with activated RARalpha to disrupt serum growth factor signaling, ultimately arresting proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells.

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