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Cancer Cell. 2012 May 15;21(5):626-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2012.03.041.

Lunatic fringe deficiency cooperates with the Met/Caveolin gene amplicon to induce basal-like breast cancer.

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Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, M5G 1L7, Canada.


Basal-like breast cancers (BLBC) express a luminal progenitor gene signature. Notch receptor signaling promotes luminal cell fate specification in the mammary gland, while suppressing stem cell self-renewal. Here we show that deletion of Lfng, a sugar transferase that prevents Notch activation by Jagged ligands, enhances stem/progenitor cell proliferation. Mammary-specific deletion of Lfng induces basal-like and claudin-low tumors with accumulation of Notch intracellular domain fragments, increased expression of proliferation-associated Notch targets, amplification of the Met/Caveolin locus, and elevated Met and Igf-1R signaling. Human BL breast tumors, commonly associated with JAGGED expression, elevated MET signaling, and CAVEOLIN accumulation, express low levels of LFNG. Thus, reduced LFNG expression facilitates JAG/NOTCH luminal progenitor signaling and cooperates with MET/CAVEOLIN basal-type signaling to promote BLBC.

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