, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 247-259
Date: 26 Jul 2011

Contribution of Bone Tissue Modulus to Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

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Certain tumors, such as breast, frequently metastasize to bone where they can induce bone destruction. Currently, it is well-accepted that the tumor cells are influenced by other cells and growth factors present in the bone microenvironment that lead to tumor-induced bone disease. Over the past 20 years, many groups have studied this process and determined the major contributing factors; however, these results do not fully explain the changes in gene expression and cell behavior that occur when tumor cells metastasize to bone. More recently, groups studying metastasis from soft tissue sites have determined that the rigidity of the microenvironment, which increases during tumor progression in soft tissue, can regulate tumor cell behavior and gene expression. Therefore, we began to investigate the role of the rigid bone extracellular matrix in the regulation of genes that stimulate tumor-induced bone disease. We found that the rigidity of bone specifically regulates parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and Gli2 expression in a transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and mechanotransduction-dependent mechanism. In this review, we summarize the mechanotransduction signaling pathway and how this influences TGF-β signaling and osteolytic gene expression.