Targeting of primary breast cancers and metastases in a transgenic mouse model using rationally designed multifunctional SPIONs.
ABSTRACT: Breast cancer remains one of the most prevalent and lethal malignancies in women. The inability to diagnose small volume metastases early has limited effective treatment of stage 4 breast cancer. Here we report the rational development and use of a multifunctional superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) for targeting metastatic breast cancer in a transgenic mouse model and imaging with magnetic resonance (MR). SPIONs coated with a copolymer of chitosan and polyethylene glycol (PEG) were labeled with a fluorescent dye for optical detection and conjugated with a monoclonal antibody against the neu receptor (NP-neu). SPIONs labeled with mouse IgG were used as a nontargeting control (NP-IgG). These SPIONs had desirable physiochemical properties for in vivo applications such as near neutral zeta potential and hydrodynamic size around 40 nm and were highly stable in serum containing medium. Only NP-neu showed high uptake in neu expressing mouse mammary carcinoma (MMC) cells which was reversed by competing free neu antibody, indicating their specificity to the neu antigen. In vivo, NP-neu was able to tag primary breast tumors and significantly, only NP-neu bound to spontaneous liver, lung, and bone marrow metastases in a transgenic mouse model of metastatic breast cancer, highlighting the necessity of targeting for delivery to metastatic disease. The SPIONs provided significant contrast enhancement in MR images of primary breast tumors; thus, they have the potential for MRI detection of micrometastases and provide an excellent platform for further development of an efficient metastatic breast cancer therapy.
Project description:Preclinical evaluation of therapeutic agents against metastatic breast cancer require cell lines and animal models that recapitulate clinical metastatic breast cancer as much as possible. We have previously used cell lines derived from the neu-N transgenic model to investigate anti-neu targeting of metastatic breast cancer using an alpha-emitter labeled antibody reactive with the rat variant of HER2/neu expressed by the neu-N model. To investigate alpha-particle emitter targeting of metastatic breast cancer using clinically relevant, commercially available anti-HER2/neu antibodies, we have developed cell lines derived from primary tumors and lung metastases from HuHER2 transgenic mice. We extracted primary mammary gland tumors, isolated the epithelial breast cancer cells, and established seven different cell lines. We also established 2 different cell lines from spontaneous lung metastases and cell lines from a serial transplantation of tumor tissues in HuHER2 transgenic mice. HuHER2 protein was overexpressed in all of the established cell lines. The mRNA level of ER (estrogen receptor) and PR (progesterone receptor) was relatively low in the cell lines compared to normal mammary gland (MG). As EMT markers, the expression of E-Cadherin in the cell lines was downregulated while the expression of TWIST1 and Vimentin were upregulated, relative to MG. Furthermore, trastuzumab directly inhibited cellular viability. Biodistribution studies with 111In-DTPA-trastuzumab in HuHER2 cell tumor xenografts demonstrated specific targeting with a clinically relevant antibody. Collectively, these cell lines show all the hallmarks of highly aggressive, metastatic breast cancer and are being used to evaluate combination therapy with alpha-particle emitter labeled HER2/neu reactive antibodies.
Project description:Hormone receptor and HER-2/neu discordance between the primary lesion and first metastasis has been reported. This study was performed to determine further biomarker discordance rates between the first and subsequent metastatic breast cancer lesions.We performed a retrospective review of paired biomarkers from primary breast cancers compared to first reported and subsequent metastases from 103 patients with breast cancer. The estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER-2/neu status were reported at all three time points. In addition, hormone, cytotoxic, and targeted treatments were recorded for primary and metastatic disease, and survival was determined.Between the primary and first metastases, discordance rates for ER, PR, and HER-2/neu were 15.8%, 33.7%, and 14.3%, respectively. There was discordance between the first and second metastases for the ER receptor in 18.8%, PR receptor in 19.8%, and HER-2/neu in 10.7%. Overall, there was discordance between the primary tumor and either the first or second metastases for ER in 27.7%, PR receptor in 40.7%, and HER-2/neu in 19.6% of cases. Discordance of either ER or PR affected survival, with worse survival experienced by those patients with all three hormone receptors remaining negative, and intermediate survival reported for those with discordant tumors (ER χ2=14.27, p=0.0008; PR χ2=11.31, p=0.0035). There was no difference in survival for patients whose HER-2/neu tumors were discordant.This study demonstrated that continued metastatic disease evolution may be associated with different tumor biology and that studies of metastatic lesions appear warranted, especially if targeted therapy is an option.
Project description:The influence of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling on Neu-induced mammary tumorigenesis and metastasis was examined with transgenic mouse models. We generated mice expressing an activated TGF-beta type I receptor or dominant negative TGF-beta type II receptor under control of the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter. When crossed with mice expressing activated forms of the Neu receptor tyrosine kinase that selectively couple to the Grb2 or Shc signaling pathways the activated type I receptor increased the latency of mammary tumor formation but also enhanced the frequency of extravascular lung metastasis. Conversely, expression of the dominant negative type II receptor decreased the latency of Neu-induced mammary tumor formation while significantly reducing the incidence of extravascular lung metastases. These observations argue that TGF-beta can promote the formation of lung metastases while impairing Neu-induced tumor growth and suggest that extravasation of breast cancer cells from pulmonary vessels is a point of action of TGF-beta in the metastatic process.
Project description:Follistatin (FST) is an intrinsic inhibitor of activin, a member of the transforming growth factor-? superfamily of ligands. The prognostic value of FST and its family members, the follistatin-like (FSTL) proteins, have been studied in various cancers. However, these studies, as well as limited functional analyses of the FSTL proteins, have yielded conflicting results on the role of these proteins in disease progression. Furthermore, very few have been focused on FST itself. We assessed whether FST may be a suppressor of tumorigenesis and/or metastatic progression in breast cancer.Using publicly available gene expression data, we examined the expression patterns of FST and INHBA, a subunit of activin, in normal and cancerous breast tissue and the prognostic value of FST in breast cancer metastases, recurrence-free survival, and overall survival. The functional effects of activin and FST on in vitro proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells were also examined. FST overexpression in an autochthonous mouse model of breast cancer was then used to assess the in vivo impact of FST on metastatic progression.Examination of multiple breast cancer datasets revealed that FST expression is reduced in breast cancers compared with normal tissue and that low FST expression predicts increased metastasis and reduced overall survival. FST expression was also reduced in a mouse model of HER2/Neu-induced metastatic breast cancer. We found that FST blocks activin-induced breast epithelial cell migration in vitro, suggesting that its loss may promote breast cancer aggressiveness. To directly determine if FST restoration could inhibit metastatic progression, we transgenically expressed FST in the HER2/Neu model. Although FST had no impact on tumor initiation or growth, it completely blocked the formation of lung metastases.These data indicate that FST is a bona fide metastasis suppressor in this mouse model and support future efforts to develop an FST mimetic to suppress metastatic progression.
Project description:Little is known about the cellular events promoting metastasis. We show that knockout of phospholipase D2 (PLD2), which generates the signaling lipid phosphatidic acid (PA), inhibits lung metastases in the mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Neu transgenic mouse breast cancer model. PLD2 promotes local invasion through the regulation of the plasma membrane targeting of MT1-MMP and its associated invadopodia. A liposome pull-down screen identifies KIF5B, the heavy chain of the motor protein kinesin-1, as a new PA-binding protein. In vitro assays reveal that PA specifically and directly binds to the C terminus of KIF5B. The binding between PLD2-generated PA and KIF5B is required for the vesicular association of KIF5B, surface localization of MT1-MMP, invadopodia, and invasion in cancer cells. Taken together, these results identify a role of PLD2-generated PA in the regulation of kinesin-1 motor functions and breast cancer metastasis and suggest PLD2 as a potential therapeutic target for metastatic breast cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND: ErbB2-positive breast cancer is characterized by highly aggressive phenotypes and reduced responsiveness to standard therapies. Although specific ErbB2-targeted therapies have been designed, only a small percentage of patients respond to these treatments and most of them eventually relapse. The existence of this population of particularly aggressive and non-responding or relapsing patients urges the search for novel therapies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cannabinoids might constitute a new therapeutic tool for the treatment of ErbB2-positive breast tumors. We analyzed their antitumor potential in a well established and clinically relevant model of ErbB2-driven metastatic breast cancer: the MMTV-neu mouse. We also analyzed the expression of cannabinoid targets in a series of 87 human breast tumors. RESULTS: Our results show that both Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the most abundant and potent cannabinoid in marijuana, and JWH-133, a non-psychotropic CB2 receptor-selective agonist, reduce tumor growth, tumor number, and the amount/severity of lung metastases in MMTV-neu mice. Histological analyses of the tumors revealed that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis, and impair tumor angiogenesis. Cannabinoid antitumoral action relies, at least partially, on the inhibition of the pro-tumorigenic Akt pathway. We also found that 91% of ErbB2-positive tumors express the non-psychotropic cannabinoid receptor CB2. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results provide a strong preclinical evidence for the use of cannabinoid-based therapies for the management of ErbB2-positive breast cancer.
Project description:To evaluate the capability of longitudinal MR scans using sweep imaging with Fourier transformation (SWIFT) to detect breast cancer metastasis to the lung in mice.Mice with breast cancer metastatic to the lung were generated by tail vein injection of MDA-MB-231-LM2 cells. Thereafter, MR imaging was performed every week using three different pulse sequences: SWIFT [echo time (TE) ?3 ?s], concurrent dephasing and excitation (CODE; TE ?300 ?s), and three-dimensional (3D) gradient echo (GRE; TE?=?2.2 ms). Motion during the long SWIFT MR scans was compensated for by rigid-body motion correction. Maximum intensity projection (MIP) images were generated to visualize changes in lung vascular structures during the development and growth of metastases.SWIFT MRI was more sensitive to signals from the lung parenchyma than CODE or 3D GRE MRI. Metastatic tumor growth in the lungs induced a progressive increase in intensity of parenchymal signals in SWIFT images. MIP images from SWIFT clearly visualized lung vascular structures and their disruption due to progression of breast cancer metastases in the lung.SWIFT MRI's sensitivity to fast-decaying signals and tolerance of magnetic susceptibility enhances its effectiveness at detecting structural changes in lung parenchyma and vasculature due to breast cancer metastases in the lung.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The study of breast cancer metastasis depends on the use of established breast cancer cell lines that do not accurately represent the heterogeneity and complexity of human breast tumors. A tumor model was developed using primary breast tumor-initiating cells isolated from patient core biopsies that would more accurately reflect human breast cancer metastasis. METHODS: Tumorspheres were isolated under serum-free culture conditions from core biopsies collected from five patients with clinical diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Isolated tumorspheres were transplanted into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice to establish tumorigenicity in vivo. Tumors and metastatic lesions were analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin (H+E) staining and immunohistochemistry (IHC). RESULTS: Tumorspheres were successfully isolated from all patient core biopsies, independent of the estrogen receptor ? (ER?)/progesterone receptor (PR)/Her2/neu status or tumor grade. Each tumorsphere was estimated to contain 50-100 cells. Transplantation of 50 tumorspheres (1-5 × 103 cells) in combination with Matrigel into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice resulted in small, palpable tumors that were sustained up to 12 months post-injection. Tumors were serially transplanted three times by re-isolation of tumorspheres from the tumors and injection into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice. At 3 months post-injection, micrometastases to the lung, liver, kidneys, brain and femur were detected by measuring content of human chromosome 17. Visible macrometastases were detected in the lung, liver and kidneys by 6 months post-injection. Primary tumors variably expressed cytokeratins, Her2/neu, cytoplasmic E-cadherin, nuclear ? catenin and fibronectin but were negative for ER? and vimentin. In lung and liver metastases, variable redistribution of E-cadherin and ? catenin to the membrane of tumor cells was observed. ER? was re-expressed in lung metastatic cells in two of five samples. CONCLUSIONS: Tumorspheres isolated under defined culture conditions from patient core biopsies were tumorigenic when transplanted into the mammary fat pad of NUDE mice, and metastasized to multiple mouse organs. Micrometastases in mouse organs demonstrated a dormancy period prior to outgrowth of macrometastases. The development of macrometastases with organ-specific phenotypic distinctions provides a superior model for the investigation of organ-specific effects on metastatic cancer cell survival and growth.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc finger transcription factor that functions as an oncogene or tumor suppressor in a highly tissue-specific cell-dependent manner. However, its precise role in breast cancer and metastasis remains unclear. Here, we show that transient adenoviral expression of KLF4 in the 4T1 orthotopic mammary cancer model significantly attenuated primary tumor growth as well as micrometastases to the lungs and liver. These results can be attributed, in part, to decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. Further supporting a tumor-suppressive role for KLF4 in the breast, we found that KLF4 expression is lost in a mouse model of HER2/NEU/ERBB2-positive breast cancer. To determine whether enforced KLF4 expression could alter tumor latency in these mice, we used a doxycycline-inducible expression model in the context of the MMTV-Neu transgene. Surprisingly, tumors that developed in this model also lost KLF4 expression, suggesting negative selection for sustained expression. We have previously reported that KLF4 inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a preliminary step in metastatic progression. Overexpression of KLF4 in 4T1 cells led to a significant reduction in the expression of Snail, a key mediator of EMT and metastasis. Conversely, KLF4 silencing increased Snail expression in the nontransformed MCF-10A cell line. Collectively, these data demonstrate the first functional, in vivo evidence for KLF4 as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, our findings suggest an inhibitory role for KLF4 during breast cancer metastases that functions, in part, through repression of Snail.