High expression of transient receptor potential channels in human breast cancer epithelial cells and tissues: correlation with pathological parameters

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2011;28(5):813-22. doi: 10.1159/000335795. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Background: Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels are expressed in many solid tumors. However, their expression in breast cancer remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the profile expression of 13 TRP channels in human breast ductal adenocarcinoma (hBDA) and performed a correlation between their overexpression and pathological parameters.

Methods: The TRP channels expression was determined by RT-PCR in hBDA tissue, in human breast cancer epithelial (hBCE) primary culture and in MCF-7 cell line. The TRP protein level was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in hBDA tissue samples of 59 patients.

Results: TRPC1, TRPC6, TRPM7, TRPM8, and TRPV6 channels were overexpressed in hBDA compared to the adjacent non-tumoral tissue. Most interestingly, TRPC1, TRPM7 and TRPM8 expression strongly correlated with proliferative parameters (SBR grade, Ki67 proliferation index, and tumor size), and TRPV6 was mainly overexpressed in the invasive breast cancer cells. Using laser capture microdissection, we found that TRPV6 expression was higher in invasive areas, compared to the corresponding non-invasive ones. Moreover, TRPV6 silencing inhibited MDA-MB-231 migration and invasion, and MCF-7 migration.

Conclusion: TRP channels are aberrantly expressed in hBDA, hBCE primary cultures, and cell lines, and associated with pathological parameters. The high expression of TRP channels in tumors suggests the potential of these channels for diagnostic, prognosis and/or therapeutic approaches in human breast ductal adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • TRPC Cation Channels / metabolism
  • TRPC6 Cation Channel
  • TRPM Cation Channels / metabolism
  • TRPV Cation Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TRPV Cation Channels / genetics
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / genetics
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / metabolism*


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • TRPC Cation Channels
  • TRPC6 Cation Channel
  • TRPC6 protein, human
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM8 protein, human
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV6 channel
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily C, member 1
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • TRPM7 protein, human