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INTRODUCTION: Increased versican expression has been associated with local breast cancer invasiveness and a more aggressive tumor phenotype. The cellular mechanisms are not fully understood and this study evaluated versican G3 domain with its EGF-like motifs in influencing tumor invasion and metastasis.METHODS: One recombinant construct was synthesized (a signal peptide for product secretion and the versican G3 domain). The construct was stably transfected into human breast carcinoma MT-1 cells. Cell viability in vitro was evaluated in low serum and serum starvation conditions. In vivo study of tumor growth was evaluated in a nude mouse model. G3 effects on rodent vascular endothelial cells were evaluated in vitro on cell survival, apoptosis, migration, and vascular formation. The effects of VEGF, fibronectin, and G3 on vascular formation were examined. An intracardiac injection model of metastatic human breast carcinoma tested the effect of G3 on distant bony and soft tissue metastasis. Analysis of metastatic burden included histology, radiographs, and micro-CT quantification of osteolysis.RESULTS: A greater viability of cancer cells was observed in low serum and serum-free conditions in the presence of versican G3. Larger subcutaneous tumors were obtained in the G3 group following tumor cell injection into CD1 mice. G3 induced a greater degree of rodent vascular endothelial cell proliferation and migration in vitro. Simultaneous presence of fibronectin, VEGF, and G3 promoted endothelial cell migration in wound-healing assays as compared to the treatments containing none, one or two of these molecules. Systemic tumor burden to distant bony and soft tissue metastatic sites was greater in the G3 group using the intracardiac injection metastatic model.CONCLUSION: Versican G3 domain appears to be important in local and systemic tumor invasiveness of human breast cancer. Effects include enhancing cell viability, proliferation, migration and enhancing local tumor growth. Potential effects on angiogenesis include enhancing vascular endothelial proliferation, migration, and vessel formation. The interactions between tumor cells, surrounding stromal components and neo-vascularization in breast cancer may include interactions with VEGF and fibronectin. The propensity of versican G3 to influence tumor invasion to bone and the mechanisms of G3 mediated osteolysis warrants ongoing studies.
Yee, A. J., Akens, M., Yang, B. L., Finkelstein, J., Zheng, P.-S., Deng, Z., & Yang, B. (2007). The effect of versican G3 domain on local breast cancer invasiveness and bony metastasis. Breast Cancer Research, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1186/bcr1751