Despite early detection of breast cancer, patients' survival may be compromised if the breast cancer cells (BCCs) enter the bone marrow (BM). It is highly probable that BCCs enter the BM long before clinical detection. An in vitro coculture model with BM stroma and BCCs (cell lines; primary cells from stage III BC, n = 7, and stage MO, n = 3) mimicked early entry of BCCs into the BM. In coculture, BCCs exhibit contact inhibition and do not require otherwise needed growth supplements. Stromal growth rate was increased 2-fold in coculture. The inclusion of BCCs in stromal support of long-term culture-initiating cell assay frequencies show no difference (38 ± 3 versus 36 ± 6). Nontumorigenic breast cells (patients and cell lines) did not survive in coculture, suggesting that the model could select for malignant population in surgical breast tissues. Cocultures were able to select cells with 73 ± 7% cloning efficiencies and with the ability to form cocultures with BM stroma. Preprotachykinin-I (PPT-I), a gene that is conserved by evolution, facilitates BCC integration as part of the stromal compartment. This was deduced as follows: (a) nontumorigenic breast cells (n = 4) genetically engineered to express PPT-I and led to anchorage-independent growth, foci formation, and formation of cocultures; and (b) suppression of PPT-I in BCCs (n = 5) with pPMSKH1-PPT-I small interfering RNA reverted the cells to non-tumorigenic phenotypes and was undetectable in the BM nude mice. The evidence supports that the PPT-I gene facilitates the integration of BCCs in the stromal compartment during a period before clinical detection, without disrupting hematopoietic activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research