Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 19–29 | Cite as

Transfection of MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cells with bone sialoprotein (BSP) stimulates migration and invasion in vitro and growth of primary and secondary tumors in nude mice

  • Julie A. Sharp
  • Mark Waltham
  • Elizabeth D. Williams
  • Michael A. Henderson
  • Erik W. Thompson


We have investigated the role of bone sialoprotein (BSP), a secreted glycoprotein normally found in bone, in breast cancer progression. To explore functions for BSP in human breast cancer invasion and metastasis, the full-length BSP cDNA was transfected into the MDA-MB-231-BAG human breast cancer cell line under the control of the CMV promoter. Clones expressing BSP and vector control clones were isolated. BSP producing clones showed increased monolayer wound healing, a faster rate of stellate outgrowth in Matrigel and increased rate of invasion into a collagen matrix when compared to control clones. Clones were also examined in models of breast cancer growth and metastasis in vivo. BSP transfected clones showed an increased rate of primary tumor growth following mammary fat pad injection of nude mice. BSP transfected clones and vector control clones metastasized to soft organs and bone at a similar rate after intra-cardiac injection as determined by real-time PCR and X-ray analysis. Although these organs were targets for both BSP transfected and non-transfected cells, the size of the metastatic lesion was shown to be significantly larger for BSP expressing clones. This was determined by real-time PCR analysis for soft organs and by X-ray analysis of bone lesions. For bone this was confirmed by intra-tibial injections of cells in nude mice. We conclude that BSP acts to drive primary and secondary tumor growth of breast cancers in vivo. Abbreviation: BSP – bone sialoprotein; FBS – foetal bovine serum; BAG – beta galactosidase; CMV – cytomegalo virus; DIG – digoxigenin; MT – membrane type; CT – control transfection; Ct – cycle threshold; BSA – bovine serum albumin; PMA – phorbol myristate acetate, SFM – serum free medium

bone sialoprotein breast cancer metastasis in vitro wound healing migration 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie A. Sharp
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Waltham
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth D. Williams
    • 3
  • Michael A. Henderson
    • 1
  • Erik W. Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's HospitalUniversity of MelbourneFitzroyAustralia
  2. 2.VBCRC Breast Cancer Invasion and Metastasis UnitSt. Vincent's Institute of Medical ResearchFitzroyAustralia
  3. 3.Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery, St Vincent's HospitalFitzroyAustralia

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