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Clin Exp Metastasis. 2010 Oct;27(7):455-63. doi: 10.1007/s10585-010-9332-1. Epub 2010 Jun 6.

Repression of Lim only protein 4-activated transcription inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of normal mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells.

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Institute for Biomedical Research, Xiamen University, Fujian, China.


Lim only protein (LMO) 4 acts as a transcriptional adapter and modulates mammary gland morphogenesis as well as breast oncogenesis in transgenic mice. Yet, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of these effects remain to be fully elucidated. Engrailed LMO4 fusion protein is a powerful dominant repressor of LMO4 activated transcription that was successfully used to discover the role of LMO4 as a transcriptional activator in mammary gland development in our previous studies using mouse models. In this manuscript, we investigated the cellular effects of LMO4 in human normal mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) and breast cancer cell lines using the Engrailed-LMO4 fusion protein. HMEC cell growth was inhibited by the expression of the Engrailed-LMO4 fusion protein. The decrease in cell number was due to both decreased cell proliferation and enhanced apoptosis, suggesting that LMO4 promotes proliferation and survival of normal mammary epithelial cells. The expression of the Engrailed-LMO4 fusion protein also suppressed cell growth, and induced apoptosis in two breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and T47D, suggesting that LMO4 contributes to oncogenesis by similar mechanisms of enhanced cell survival and proliferation. Taken together, our data indicate that LMO4 has similar cellular effects in normal mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells, and also provide direct evidence for the idea that normal development and carcinogenesis share conserved molecular mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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