Tumor Biology

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 583–588 | Cite as

Mammary renin–angiotensin system-regulating aminopeptidase activities are modified in rats with breast cancer

  • Maria del Pilar Carrera
  • Maria Jesus Ramírez-Expósito
  • Maria Dolores Mayas
  • Maria Jesus García
  • Jose Manuel Martínez-Martos
Research Article


Angiotensin II in particular and/or the local renin–angiotensin system in general could have an important role in epithelial tissue growth and modelling; therefore, it is possible that it may be involved in breast cancer. In this sense, previous works of our group showed a predominating role of angiotensin II in tumoral tissue obtained from women with breast cancer. However, although classically angiotensin II has been considered the main effector peptide of the renin–angiotensin system cascade, several of its catabolism products such as angiotensin III and angiotensin IV also possess biological functions. These peptides are formed through the activity of several proteolytic regulatory enzymes of the aminopeptidase type, also called angiotensinases. The aim of this work was to analyse several specific angiotensinase activities involved in the renin–angiotensin system cascade in mammary tissue from control rats and from rats with mammary tumours induced by N-methyl-nitrosourea (NMU), which may reflect the functional status of their target peptides under the specific conditions brought about by the tumoural process. The results show that soluble and membrane-bound specific aspartyl aminopeptidase activities and membrane-bound glutamyl aminopeptidase activity increased in mammary tissue from NMU-treated animals and soluble aminopeptidase N and aminopeptidase B activities significantly decreased in mammary tissue from NMU-treated rats. These changes support the existence of a local mammary renin–angiotensin system and that this system and its putative functions in breast tissue could be altered by the tumour process, in which we suggest a predominant role of angiotensin III. All described data about the renin–angiotensin system in mammary tissue support the idea that it must be involved in normal breast tissue functions, and its disruption could be involved in one or more steps of the carcinogenesis process.


Angiotensinases Cancer Mammary gland 



This work was supported by Junta de Andalucía through PAI BIO-296, Universidad de Jaén through grant UJA2003/014 and Instituto de Estudios Giennenses (IEG).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria del Pilar Carrera
    • 1
  • Maria Jesus Ramírez-Expósito
    • 1
  • Maria Dolores Mayas
    • 3
  • Maria Jesus García
    • 2
  • Jose Manuel Martínez-Martos
    • 1
  1. 1.Experimental and Clinical Physiopathology Research Group, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Experimental SciencesUniversity of Jaén, Campus Universitario ‘Las Lagunillas’JaénSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio Central de Sanidad AnimalSanta FéSpain
  3. 3.Fundación IMABIS, Hospital Carlos HayaMálagaSpain

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