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Am J Pathol. 2012 Feb;180(2):839-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.10.020. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

TRIM29 functions as a tumor suppressor in nontumorigenic breast cells and invasive ER+ breast cancer.

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Department of Oncological Sciences, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5550, USA.


Tripartite motif-containing 29 (TRIM29) is a member of the TRIM protein family that has been implicated in hematologic and solid tumor cancers. We found that TRIM29 functions as a tumor suppressor in both the nontumorigenic MCF10A [estrogen receptor (ER)-/TRIM29+] breast cell line and the invasive MCF7 (ER+/TRIM29-) breast cell line. Silencing TRIM29 in MCF10A cells resulted in preneoplastic changes that included loss of polarity in three-dimensional culture, increased proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and increased migration and invasion. Conversely, the introduction of TRIM29 into MCF7 cells caused reversion to a less aggressive phenotype by antagonizing the growth effect of 17β-estradiol. The interaction between TRIM29 and ER signaling in MCF7 cells was supported by a reduction in ERE binding in the presence of TRIM29 and suppression of ER-dependent gene expression of TFF1, FOS, and GREB1. By microarray analyses, we showed that younger women (<55 years of age) with early-stage, ER+ breast cancer who were given no adjuvant systemic therapy had a significantly lower risk of relapse when their tumor had high TRIM29 expression (P = 0.02). This effect was not observed in older women (>55 years of age) and thus may be due to menopause and loss of circulating estrogens. Our results suggest that loss of TRIM29 expression in normal breast luminal cells can contribute to malignant transformation and lead to progression of ER+ breast cancer in premenopausal women.

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