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Cancer Sci. 2009 Oct;100(10):1834-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2009.01260.x. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Involvement of Pin1 induction in epithelial-mesenchymal transition of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells.

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BK21 Project Team, College of Pharmacy, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea.


Acquisition of resistance to tamoxifen is a critical therapeutic problem in breast cancer patients. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), where cells undergo a developmental switch from a polarized epithelial phenotype to a highly motile mesenchymal phenotype, is associated with invasion and motility of cancer cells. Here, we found that tamoxifen-resistant (TAMR)-MCF-7 cells had undergone EMT, as evidenced by mesenchymal-like cell shape, downregulation of basal E-cadherin expression, and overexpression of N-cadherin and vimentin, as well as increased Snail transcriptional activity and protein expression. Given the roles of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB in Snail-mediated E-cadherin deregulation during EMT, we examined the role of these signaling pathways in the EMT of TAMR-MCF-7 cells. Both Ser9-phosphorylated GSK-3beta (inactive form) and NF-kappaB reporter activity were increased in TAMR-MCF-7 cells, as was activation of the phosphatase and tensin homolog depleted on chromosome ten (PTEN)-phosphoinositide 3 (PI3)-kinase-Akt pathway. Pin1, a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase, was overexpressed in TAMR-MCF-7 cells, and Snail transcription and the expression of EMT markers could be decreased by Pin1 siRNA treatment. These results imply that Pin1 overexpression in TAMR-MCF-7 cells is involved in the EMT process via PTEN-PI3-kinase-Akt-GSK-3beta and/or GSK-3beta-NF-kappaB-dependent Snail activation, and suggest the potential involvement of Pin1 in EMT during breast cancer development.

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