Stimulation of cell invasion and migration by alcohol in breast cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Jul 5;273(2):448-53. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.2942.


Increasing epidemiological studies suggest that alcohol consumption confers a high risk for development of breast cancer. In this study, we found that biologically relevant concentrations of alcohol elicited a significant stimulation of cell adhesion, migration, and invasion in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Moreover, the promotion of invasion and migration potential by alcohol was associated with the significant decrease of E-cadherin, alpha, beta, and gamma three major catenin, and BRCA1 expression. In addition, an enhanced expression of BRCA1 significantly blocked alcohol-stimulated cell invasion. Thus, our present study suggests that alcohol as a breast cancer risk factor plays an important role not only in carcinogenesis, but also in promotion of cell invasion and migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Ethanol