Author(s): Berger T, Cheung CC, Elia AJ, Mak TW
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Abstract Based largely on studies in xenograft models, lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) has been implicated in the progression of multiple types of human tumors, including breast cancer. Here we examine the role of Lcn2 in mammary tumorigenesis and lung metastasis using an in vivo molecular genetics approach. We crossed a well-characterized transgenic mouse model of breast cancer, the MMTV-PyMT (mouse mammary tumor virus-polyoma middle T antigen) mouse, with two independent gene-targeted Lcn2(-/-) mouse strains of the 129/Ola or C57BL/6 genetic background. The onset and progression of mammary tumor development and lung metastasis in the female progeny of these crosses were monitored over a 20-week period. Female Lcn2(-/-)MMTV-PyMT mice of the 129/Ola background (Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(129)) showed delayed onset of mammary tumors, and both Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(129) mice and Lcn2(-/-)MMTV-PyMT mice of the C57BL/6 background (Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(B6)) exhibited significant decreases in multiplicity and tumor burden (approximately 2- to 3-fold), as measured by total tumor weight and volume. At the molecular level, mammary tumors derived from Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(B6) females showed reduced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity and a lack of high molecular weight MMP activity. However, although increased MMP-9 activity has been linked to tumor progression, neither Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(B6) nor Lcn2(-/-)PyMT(129) female mice showed a reduction in lung metastases compared to Lcn2(+/+)PyMT controls. Our results demonstrate, using an in vivo animal model approach, that Lcn2 is a potent inducer of mammary tumor growth but not a significant promoter of lung metastasis.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology