Transformation of Non-Cancerous Human Breast Epithelial Cell Line MCF10A by the Tobacco-Specific Carcinogen NNK
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- Mei, J., Hu, H., McEntee, M. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2003) 79: 95. doi:10.1023/A:1023326121951
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Repeated treatments of non-cancerous human breast epithelial cells MCF10A with a low dose of the tobacco-specific carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) induced the development of cancerous cells. NNK-transformed MCF10A cells acquired cancerous properties including anchorage-independent cell growth and increased cell motility. Cellular transformation of MCF10A cells was accompanied by a loss of responsiveness to 17β-estradiol and decreased rate of cell proliferation. NNK-transformed MCF10A cells were also tumorigenic in immunodifficient mice. Studies of changes in the regulation of intracellular signaling pathways revealed that the upstream Erk pathway was down-regulated in the NNK-transformed cells. Our data provide the first evidence suggesting that the tobacco carcinogen NNK is competent to induce malignant transformation of non-cancerous human breast epithelial cells. Our findings suggest that the tobacco carcinogen NNK may contribute to early events in human breast carcinogenesis.