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Oncogene. 2005 Sep 29;24(43):6516-24.

cFos is critical for MCF-7 breast cancer cell growth.

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Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Breast Center, One Baylor Plaza MS600, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The activating protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factor is a converging point of multiple signal transduction pathways in many cells. We have previously demonstrated that overexpressing Tam67, a dominant-negative (DN) form of cJun, blocks AP-1 activity and inhibits breast cancer cell growth. We hypothesized that Tam67 forms dimers with other AP-1 proteins to suppress the growth of breast cancer cells. In the present study, we used immunoprecipitation-Western blotting to demonstrate that Tam67 binds all Jun and Fos proteins in breast cancer cells. In addition, we used two variants of the Tam67 mutant to investigate whether Jun or Fos protein was required for breast cancer cell growth. We created a Tam/Fos mutant in which the cJun dimerization domain was replaced by the cFos dimerization domain, and a Tam/Squelcher mutant in which the cJun dimerization domain was deleted. We then isolated MCF-7 cell lines that stably expressed these cJun-DN mutants under the control of an inducible promoter. Using AP-1-dependent reporter assays, we observed that Tam67 and Tam/Fos mutants inhibited AP-1 transcriptional activity, while the Tam/Squelcher mutant did not. We then determined whether Tam/Fos or Tam/Squelcher inhibited breast cell growth as well as Tam67. We found that while Tam67 repressed cell growth, neither Tam/Fos nor Tam/Squelcher mutant affected cell growth. These results indicate that Tam67 likely inactivates Fos family member proteins to suppress breast cancer cell growth. Finally, we performed antisense experiments to knock down the expression of individual family members (cJun or cFos). Our results demonstrated that antisense cFos inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation and colony formation, while antisense cJun did not. These results suggest that Tam67 suppresses breast cancer cell growth by interacting with Fos family members, specifically with cFos, to produce an inactive AP-1 complex.

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