Breast cancer cells with inhibition of p38 alpha have decreased MMP-9 activity and exhibit decreased bone metastasis in mice CLINICAL & EXPERIMENTAL METASTASIS Suarez-Cuervo, C., Merrell, M. A., Watson, L., Harris, K. W., Rosenthal, E. L., Vaananen, H. K., Selander, K. 2004; 21 (6): 525-533


p38 belongs to a family of mitogen-activated protein kinases, which transfer extracellular signals into intracellular responses. p38 is also frequently detected in clinical breast cancer specimens, but its role as a prognostic factor is not known. Of the various p38 isoforms, p38alpha has been shown to mediate the in vitro invasiveness of breast cancer cells through up-regulation of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). We studied the role of p38alpha in breast cancer bone metastases, using dominant negative blockade approach. Human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer clones stably expressing dominant negative p38alpha (p38/AF) exhibited decreased basal MMP-9 activity. TGF-beta1-induced MMP-9 activity was also blunted in these clones, as compared with controls in which TGF-betal up-regulated MMP-9 activity. Consistent with these findings, SB202190, a specific p38 inhibitor, also inhibited TGF-beta1-induced MMP-9 activity in parental cells. The p38/AF clones exhibited also reduced uPA production after growth on vitronectin and decreased cell motility, as compared with controls. VEGF production levels in all the studied clones were similar. The p38/AF clone, which had similar in vitro growth rate as the control pcDNA3 clone, formed significantly less bone metastases in a mouse model, as compared with the control clone. In conclusion, inhibition of the p38alpha pathway results in decreased MMP-9 activity, impaired uPA expression and decreased motility, all of which may contribute to the decreased formation of bone metastasis.

View details for Web of Science ID 000226108100006

View details for PubMedID 15679050