Neural Transdifferentiation: MAPTau Gene Expression in Breast Cancer Cells


Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Oxidative Stress, Mexico City, Mexico,


Background: In tumor cells, aberrant differentiation programs have been described. Several neuronal proteins have been found associated with morphological neuronal-glial changes in breast cancer (BCa). These neuronal proteins have been related to mechanisms that are involved in carcinogenesis; however, this regulation is not well understood. Microtubule-associated protein-tau (MAP-Tau) has been describing in BCa but not its variants. This finding could partly explain the neuronal-glial morphology of BCa cells. Our aim was to determine mRNA expression of MAP-tau variants 2, 4 and 6 in breast cancer cell lines. Materials and Methods: Cultured cell lines MCF-10A, MDA-MB-231, SKBR3 and T47D were observed under phase-contrast microscopy for neural morphology and analyzed for gene expression of MAP-Tau transcript variants 2, 4 and 6 by real-time PCR. Results: Regarding morphology like neural/glial cells, T47D line shown more cells with these features than MDA-MB-231 and SKBR. In another hand, we found much greater mRNA expression of MAP-Tau transcript variants 2, and to a lesser extent 4 and 6, in T47D cells than the other lines. In conclusion, regulation of MAP- Tau could bring about changes in cytoskeleton, cell morphology and motility; these findings cast further light on neuronal transdifferentiation in BCa.