Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;66(4):2067-73.

Stimulation of cyclooxygenase-2 expression by bone-derived transforming growth factor-beta enhances bone metastases in breast cancer.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the rate-limiting enzyme of prostaglandin synthesis, has been implicated in invasiveness and distant metastases of cancer. Bone is one of the most common target sites of cancer metastasis. However, the role of COX-2 in bone metastasis is unclear. We examined the surgical specimens of bone metastases from patients with various types of cancers by using immunohistochemistry and observed evident COX-2 expression in these bone metastases. In a nude mouse model of bone metastasis, the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells showed no COX-2 expression at orthotopic sites, whereas these cells, when metastasized to bone, intensely expressed COX-2, suggesting that the bone microenvironment induced COX-2 expression. Consistent with this notion, inhibition of bone resorption by the bisphosphonate ibandronate reduced COX-2 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells in bone. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta), one of the most abundant growth factors stored in bone, increased COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E2 production in MDA-MB-231 cells in culture. MDA-MB-231 cells overexpressing dominant-negative TGFbeta type II receptors showed decreased bone metastases and reduced osteoclastic bone resorption with impaired COX-2 expression. The COX-2 inhibitors, NS-398 and nimesulide, significantly suppressed bone metastases with decreased osteoclast number and increased apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. These results suggest that bone-derived TGFbeta up-regulates COX-2 expression in breast cancer cells, thereby increasing prostaglandin E2 production, which in turn, stimulates osteoclastic bone destruction, leading to the progression of bone metastases. Our results also suggest that COX-2 is a potential therapeutic target for bone metastases in breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center