Constitutively active erythropoietin receptor expression in breast cancer cells promotes cellular proliferation and migration through a MAP-kinase dependent pathway

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 13;379(3):696-701. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.146. Epub 2009 Jan 6.


The role of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) expression in tumor cells and the potential of EpoR-mediated signaling to contribute to cellular proliferation and invasiveness require further characterization. To determine whether EpoR expression and activation in tumor cells modulates intracellular signal transduction to promote cellular proliferation and migration, we employed a novel experimental model using human breast cancer cells engineered to stably express a constitutively active EpoR-R129C variant. EpoR-R129C expression resulted in increased cellular proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells and these effects were associated with significantly increased Epo-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, AKT and c-Jun-NH2-kinase (SAPK/JNK) proteins. Expression of the constitutively active EpoR-R129C receptor promoted the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells via activation of ERK- and SAPK/JNK-dependent signaling pathways, respectively. These findings suggest that EpoR over-expression and activation in breast cancer cells has the potential to contribute to tumor progression by promoting the proliferation and invasiveness of the neoplastic cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin / genetics
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin / physiology*


  • Receptors, Erythropoietin
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases