Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 is involved in oestrogen receptor-negative metastatic breast cancer cells migration through its kinase domain

Eur J Cancer. 2013 Nov;49(17):3694-707. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.07.008. Epub 2013 Aug 1.


Oestrogen receptor negative (ER(-)) invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) represents a significant clinical challenge and therefore prompts the discovery of novel biomarkers. Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7), a channel protein that also contains a regulatory kinase domain, is overexpressed in IDC and regulates migration. However, the molecular mechanism remains poorly defined. Here, we examined whether TRPM7 regulates migration by its channel function or by its kinase domain. A Magnesium Inhibited Cation current was recorded in two ER(-) highly metastatic breast cancer cell lines. Down-regulation of TRPM7 neither affected Ca(2+)-, nor Mg(2+)-homoeostasis but significantly reduced cell migration via a Ca(2+)-independent pathway. Notably, the overexpression of the truncated kinase domain form of TRPM7 decreased cell migration, while the overexpression of the wild-type form strongly increased it. Concomitantly, TRPM7 silencing reduced the myosin IIA heavy chain phosphorylation. Furthermore, we found higher TRPM7 expression in ER(-) IDC tissues and lymph nodes than in the non-invasive tumoural samples. In conclusion, TRPM7 plays a critical role in breast cancer cell migration through its kinase domain, and our data support the consideration of using TRPM7 as a novel biomarker and a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of human ER(-) IDC.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Kinase domain; Migration; TRPM7.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Phosphotransferases / chemistry
  • Phosphotransferases / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • TRPM Cation Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TRPM Cation Channels / chemistry
  • TRPM Cation Channels / physiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM2 protein, human
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Calcium