The Effect of Mammary Extracellular Matrix in Controlling Oral and Mammary Cancer Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Habsiguda, Uppal Road, Hyderabad, India.

2 Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Geelong Waurnponds Campus, Waurnponds, Australia.

3 Department of Medical Biology, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia.


Extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the normal physiology of tissues and progression to disease. Earlier studies and our external microarray data analysis indicated that mammary matrix from involuting tissue showed upregulation of genes involved in ECM remodeling. The present study examines the fate of mammary and oral cancer cells grown in the ECM from lactating mammary gland. Our findings show that non-tumorigenic cells, MCF10A and DOK cells did not proliferate but the tumorigenic and metastatic cells, SCC25 and MDA-MB-231, underwent apoptosis when grown on mammary ECM isolated from lactating mice. In addition, the cytokinesis marker, CEP55, was repressed in the oral and breast cancer cells. In contrast, these cells proliferated normally on mammary ECM isolated from mice undergoing involution. External microarray data analysis of mammary tissue further revealed over expression (~16 fold) of QSOX1 gene, which promotes cellular quiescence, in lactating mammary gland. A recent study has indicated that QSOX1 overexpression in breast cancer cells led to reduced proliferation and tumorigenic properties. This extracellular protein in mammary ECM may be responsible for reduced cellular proliferation. The present study has shown that ECM from lactating mammary gland can regulate signals to oral and breast cancer cells to halt cell division. This preliminary observation provided insights into the potential role of ECM factors present in lactating mammary gland as therapeutic targets to control cancer cell division. This preliminary study is an attempt to understand not only the requirement of ECM remodeling factors essential for the growth and survival of cancer cells but also the factors present in the lactation matrix that simultaneously halts cell division and selectively inhibits the growth of cancer cells.


Main Subjects