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Oncogene. 2003 Sep 18;22(40):6194-203.

Loss of expression of tropomyosin-1, a novel class II tumor suppressor that induces anoikis, in primary breast tumors.

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Surgical Oncology and Vascular Surgery Services, Department of General Surgery, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Suppression of tropomyosins (TMs), a family of actin-binding, microfilament-associated proteins, is a prominent feature of many transformed cells. Yet it is unclear whether downregulation of TMs occur in human tumors. We have investigated the expression of tropomyosin-1 (TM1) in human breast carcinoma tissues by in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence. TM1 mRNA and protein are readily detectable in normal mammary tissue. In contrast, TM1 expression is abolished in the primary human breast tumors. Expression of other TM isoforms, however, is variable among the tumors. The consistent and profound downregulation of TM1 suggests that TM1 may be a novel and useful biomarker of mammary neoplasms. These data also support the hypothesis that suppression of TM1 expression during the malignant conversion of mammary epithelium as a contributing factor of breast cancer. In support of this hypothesis, we show that the ability to suppress malignant growth properties of breast cancer cells is specific to TM1 isoform. Investigations into the mechanisms of TM1-induced tumor suppression reveal that TM1 induces anoikis (detachment induced apoptosis) in breast cancer cells. Downregulation of TM1 in breast tumors may destabilize microfilament architecture and confer resistance to anoikis, which facilitates survival of neoplastic cells outside the normal microenvironment and promote malignant growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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