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Increased 12-lipoxygenase expression in breast cancer tissues and cells. Regulation by epidermal growth factor.

Natarajan R, Esworthy R, Bai W, Gu JL, Wilczynski S, Nadler J

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82: 1790-1798 (1997)


The interaction of growth factors, such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) with their receptors, on breast cancer cells can lead to the hydrolysis of phospholipids and release of fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, which can be further metabolized by the lipoxygenase (LO) pathway. Several LO products have been shown to stimulate oncogenes and have mitogenic and chemotactic effects. In this study, we have evaluated the regulation of 12-LO activity and expression in breast cancer cells and tissues. Leukocyte-type 12-LO messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was studied by a specific RT-PCR method in matched, normal, uninvolved and cancer-involved breast tissue RNA samples from six patients. In each of these six patients, the cancer-involved section showed a much higher level of 12-LO mRNA than the corresponding normal section. 12-LO mRNA levels also were greater in two breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and COH-BR1, compared with the nontumorigenic breast epithelial cell line, MCF-10F. The growth of the MCF-7 cells was significantly inhibited by two specific LO blockers but not by a cyclooxygenase blocker. Treatment of serum-starved MCF-7 cells with EGF for 4 h led to a dose-dependent increase in the formation of the 12-LO product, 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. EGF treatment also increased the levels of the leukocyte-type 12-LO protein expression at 24 h. These results suggest that activation of the 12-LO pathway may play a key role in basal and EGF-induced breast cancer cell growth.