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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 8, Issue 10 1061-1069, Copyright © 1997 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Osteopontin expression in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis

SR Rittling and KE Novick
Department of Cell, Developmental, and Neurobiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855, USA. rittling@mbcl.rutgers.edu

Osteopontin (OPN) is a secreted phosphoprotein that binds to cells via an Arg-Gly-Asp sequence and to mineralized surfaces. The protein can mediate cell adhesion and is strongly implicated in transformation and tumorigenesis. We have examined the expression pattern of OPN in mouse mammary glands at different stages of postnatal development. Whereas OPN is expressed at low-to-moderate levels in mammary glands from virgin and pregnant mice, the levels of OPN mRNA are extremely high in the lactating gland, consistent with the presence of the protein in milk. Expression is highest at 2 days of lactation and declines thereafter, but it remains high through involution. OPN expression is restricted to small nests or groups of cells at 9 days of involution. These results suggest that OPN may play a specific role in the process of involution that may be distinct from its role during lactation. In mammary tumors arising spontaneously in transgenic mice expressing the oncogenes c-myc and/or v-Ha-ras under the control of the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter, the level of OPN expression is increased dramatically over that in the normal gland in these same animals. Numerous cells expressing OPN mRNA are widespread throughout the tumors. OPN protein is detectable by Western blotting in extracts from the mammary gland at 2 days of lactation and from the tumors, but not in mammary glands at other stages of development. We hypothesize that OPN is exported from most tissues and that the protein is only detectable in tissues elaborating fluids, such as the lactating mammary gland, or in pathological situations when expression of OPN is abnormally high, such as in tumors.


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1997 by the American Association of Cancer Research.