Effects of vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor on human breast cancer cells

Anticancer Res. 2012 Jan;32(1):45-52.


Background: Searching for additional therapeutic tools to fight breast cancer, we investigated the effects of vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage activating factor (DBP-MAF, also known as GcMAF) on a human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7).

Materials and methods: The effects of DBP-MAF on proliferation, morphology, vimentin expression and angiogenesis were studied by cell proliferation assay, phase-contrast microscopy, immunohistochemistry and western blotting, and chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay.

Results: DBP-MAF inhibited human breast cancer cell proliferation and cancer cell-stimulated angiogenesis. MCF-7 cells treated with DBP-MAF predominantly grew in monolayer and appeared to be well adherent to each other and to the well surface. Exposure to DBP-MAF significantly reduced vimentin expression, indicating a reversal of the epithelial/mesenchymal transition, a hallmark of human breast cancer progression.

Conclusion: These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the known anticancer efficacy of DBP-MAF can be ascribed to different biological properties of the molecule that include inhibition of tumour-induced angiogenesis and direct inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, migration and metastatic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Chorioallantoic Membrane / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vimentin / metabolism
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Vimentin
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • vitamin D-binding protein-macrophage activating factor