Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 306, Issue 1–2, pp 255–260 | Cite as

Physiological stress induces the metastasis marker AGR2 in breast cancer cells

  • Daniel R. Zweitzig
  • Denis A. Smirnov
  • Mark C. Connelly
  • Leon W. M. M. Terstappen
  • S. Mark O’Hara
  • Elizabeth MoranEmail author


As an approach to understanding the factors that activate expression of tumor progression genes, the role of physiological stress in the activation of a panel of tumor cell markers was investigated. These studies identify the developmental gene product, anterior gradient 2 (AGR2) as a cancer cell marker specifically up-regulated in response to depletion of serum and oxygen. AGR2 has been identified as a tumor marker in primary and secondary cancer lesions, and as a marker for detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Elevated levels of AGR2 are known to increase the metastatic potential of cancer cells, but conditions leading to increased expression of AGR2 are not well understood. The present results identify novel physiological parameters likely to contribute to AGR2 induction in situ.


AGR2 hAG2 ESR1 Osteopontin TFF3 Circulating tumor cells Breast cancer Stress 



We are grateful to Dr. Danny Dhanasekaran for the gift of the inhibitor compounds.

This work was supported by Dept. of Defense BCRP Grant # DAMD17–01-1-0406 to EM, and by Immunicon Corporation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel R. Zweitzig
    • 1
  • Denis A. Smirnov
    • 2
  • Mark C. Connelly
    • 2
  • Leon W. M. M. Terstappen
    • 2
  • S. Mark O’Hara
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Moran
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Temple University School of MedicineFels Institute for Cancer ResearchPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Immunicon CorporationHuntingdon ValleyUSA

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