Author(s): McGowan PM, Simedrea C, Ribot EJ, Foster PJ, Palmieri D,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Brain metastasis from breast cancer is an increasingly important clinical problem. Here we assessed the role of CD44(hi)/CD24(lo) cells and pathways that regulate them, in an experimental model of brain metastasis. Notch signaling (mediated by γ-secretase) has been shown to contribute to maintenance of the cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype. Cells sorted for a reduced stem-like phenotype had a reduced ability to form brain metastases compared with unsorted or CD44(hi)/CD24(lo) cells (P < 0.05; Kruskal-Wallis). To assess the effect of γ-secretase inhibition, cells were cultured with DAPT and the CD44/CD24 phenotypes quantified. 231-BR cells with a CD44(hi)/CD24(lo) phenotype was reduced by about 15\% in cells treated with DAPT compared with DMSO-treated or untreated cells (P = 0.001, ANOVA). In vivo, mice treated with DAPT developed significantly fewer micro- and macrometastases compared with vehicle treated or untreated mice (P = 0.011, Kruskal-Wallis). Notch1 knockdown reduced the expression of CD44(hi)/CD24(lo) phenotype by about 20\%. In vitro, Notch1 shRNA resulted in a reduction in cellular growth at 24, 48, and 72 hours time points (P = 0.033, P = 0.002, and P = 0.009, ANOVA) and about 60\% reduction in Matrigel invasion was observed (P < 0.001, ANOVA). Cells transfected with shNotch1 formed significantly fewer macrometastases and micrometastases compared with scrambled shRNA or untransfected cells (P < 0.001; Kruskal-Wallis). These data suggest that the CSC phenotype contributes to the development of brain metastases from breast cancer, and this may arise in part from increased Notch activity. ©2011 AACR.
This article was published in Mol Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy