Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2003 Oct;228(9):995-1003.

Apoptosis, chemoresistance, and breast cancer: insights from the MCF-7 cell model system.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


The MCF-7 cell line was derived from a patient with metastatic breast cancer in 1970. Since then it has become a prominent model system for the study of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. With this model as a focus, this review summarizes important studies addressing tumor necrosis factor-alpha as a prototypical apoptosis-inducing cytokine in MCF-7 cells. Both survival and death receptor signaling pathways are discussed in terms of their role in chemotherapy-induced apoptosis as well as in chemoresistance. Novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of breast cancer are proposed utilizing knowledge of these signaling pathways as targets. Specifically, ceramide metabolism is proposed as a novel target for chemosensitivity, perhaps combined with selective inhibitors of Bcl-2 or PI3K/Akt/nuclear factor-kappaB. Suggested areas of future research include translational studies manipulating candidate survival and death signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center