RNA interference of ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) inhibits human breast cancer cell growth and invasion

Clin Exp Metastasis. 2007;24(6):439-48. doi: 10.1007/s10585-007-9081-y. Epub 2007 Jun 21.


Metastasis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in breast cancer. Recently, dramatic overexpression of ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored cell surface protein has been found in estrogen receptor-negative [ER (-)] breast cancer cell lines and in clinical samples. In this study, CD73 small interfering RNA (siRNA) plasmid was constructed and stably transfected into breast cancer cell MB-MDA-231 to determine the role of CD73 in breast cancer metastasis and the possible mechanism. Our study demonstrates that CD73 siRNA effectively inhibits CD73 gene expression at mRNA and protein level in MB-MDA-231 cells, leading to in vivo and in vitro growth suppression, prevention of adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM), and inhibition of invasion and migration. These properties correlate with inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 expression and activity as well as reduction of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression. Demonstration of the role of CD73 in breast cancer may lead to new targeted therapies for breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Division / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics*
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • ErbB Receptors
  • 5'-Nucleotidase