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Oncogene. 2012 Apr 19;31(16):2017-27. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.382. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

GATA3 inhibits lysyl oxidase-mediated metastases of human basal triple-negative breast cancer cells.

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Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Discovery of mechanisms that impede the aggressive and metastatic phenotype of human basal triple-negative-type breast cancers (BTNBCs) could provide novel targets for therapy for this form of breast cancer that has a relatively poor prognosis. Previous studies have demonstrated that expression of GATA3, the master transcriptional regulator of mammary luminal differentiation, can reduce the tumorigenicity and metastatic propensity of the human BTNBC MDA-MB-231 cell line (MB231), although the mechanism for reduced metastases was not elucidated. We demonstrate through gene expression profiling that GATA3 expression in 231 cells resulted in the dramatic reduction in the expression of lysyl oxidase (LOX), a metastasis-promoting, matrix-remodeling protein, in part, through methylation of the LOX promoter. Suppression of LOX expression by GATA3 was further confirmed in the BTNBC Hs578T cell line. Conversely, reduction of GATA3 expression by small interfering RNA in luminal BT474 cells increased LOX expression. Reconstitution of LOX expression in 231-GATA3 cells restored metastatic propensity. A strong inverse association between LOX and GATA3 expression was confirmed in a panel of 51 human breast cancer cell lines. Similarly, human breast cancer microarray data demonstrated that high LOX/low GATA3 expression is associated with the BTNBC subtype of breast cancer and poor patient prognosis. Expression of GATA3 reprograms BTNBCs to a less aggressive phenotype and inhibits a major mechanism of metastasis through inhibition of LOX. Induction of GATA3 in BTNBC cells or novel approaches that inhibit LOX expression or activity could be important strategies for treating BTNBCs.

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