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We report here the effects of targeted p120-catenin (encoded by CTNND1; hereafter denoted p120) knockout (KO) in a PyMT mouse model of invasive ductal (mammary) cancer (IDC). Mosaic p120 ablation had little effect on primary tumor growth but caused significant pro-metastatic alterations in the tumor microenvironment, ultimately leading to a marked increase in the number and size of pulmonary metastases. Surprisingly, although early effects of p120-ablation included decreased cell-cell adhesion and increased invasiveness, cells lacking p120 were almost entirely unable to colonized distant metastatic sites in vivo The relevance of this observation to human IDC was established by analysis of a large clinical dataset of 1126 IDCs. As reported by others, p120 downregulation in primary IDC predicted worse overall survival. However, as in the mice, distant metastases were almost invariably p120 positive, even in matched cases where the primary tumors were p120 negative. Collectively, our results demonstrate a strong positive role for p120 (and presumably E-cadherin) during metastatic colonization of distant sites. On the other hand, downregulation of p120 in the primary tumor enhanced metastatic dissemination indirectly via pro-metastatic conditioning of the tumor microenvironment. © 2021. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Sarah J Kurley, Verena Tischler, Brian Bierie, Sergey V Novitskiy, Aurelia Noske, Zsuzsanna Varga, Ursina Zürrer-Härdi, Simone Brandt, Robert H Carnahan, Rebecca S Cook, William J Muller, Ann Richmond, Albert B Reynolds. A requirement for p120-catenin in the metastasis of invasive ductal breast cancer. Journal of cell science. 2021 Mar 17;134(6)

PMID: 33097605

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