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, 22 (9), 1324-32

MUC1 Alters Beta-Catenin-Dependent Tumor Formation and Promotes Cellular Invasion

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MUC1 Alters Beta-Catenin-Dependent Tumor Formation and Promotes Cellular Invasion

Joyce A Schroeder et al. Oncogene.

Abstract

MUC1 is aberrantly expressed in greater than 90% of all breast carcinomas, yet its function as a tumor antigen is not fully understood. Recently, studies have shown that MUC1 interacts with beta-catenin, erbB receptors, src, GSK-3beta and protein kinase Cdelta, possibly in a complex that promotes the disassembly of adherens junctions and the invasion of cells. Here we show that the deletion of Muc1 expression from MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mice results in a significant increase in the time to mammary gland tumor onset. Analysis of MMTV-Wnt-1 tumors on a wild-type Muc1 background shows a tumor-specific complex formation between Muc1 and beta-catenin that can be observed in both the membrane and the cytoplasm of transformed epithelium. Analysis of primary human adenocarcinomas revealed that this MUC1/beta-catenin interaction occurs in both primary and metastatic tumors, but is dramatically increased in metastatic lesions. Addition of MUC1-cytoplasmic domain peptides to the invasive MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines increases their invasive capability, and these peptides colocalize with both beta-catenin and the focal adhesion protein vinculin, primarily at sites of membrane invasion into a collagen matrix. These data indicate a potential mechanism for MUC1 promotion of invasive tumorigenesis in the breast through the modulation of beta-catenin localization and subsequent cytoskeletal dynamics.

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