The role of osteopontin in breast cancer: clinical and experimental studies

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2001 Oct;6(4):419-29. doi: 10.1023/a:1014734930781.


Osteopontin (OPN) is a secreted, integrin-binding protein which has been implicated in cancer, as well as other pathologies and some aspects of normal development. Here we focus on the role of OPN in breast cancer. We describe studies that have shown that OPN plays a role in normal mammary gland development as well as in progression of breast cancer. We also summarize studies that have shown that OPN can play a functional role in malignancy of breast cancer. At least some of these effects are mediated by specific cell surface integrins (alpha(v)beta3 vs. alpha(v)beta1 and alpha(v)beta5) and lead to increased cell migration, activation of growth factor/receptor pathways (e.g. HGF and EGF), and increased proteolytic enzyme activity (e.g. uPA). We also summarize clinical studies that show that OPN levels in tumors and blood are elevated in women with metastatic breast cancer and may offer promise as prognostic markers in breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast / growth & development
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Osteopontin
  • Sialoglycoproteins / physiology*


  • SPP1 protein, human
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Osteopontin