Metastasis-associated protein 1 deregulation causes inappropriate mammary gland development and tumorigenesis

Rozita Bagheri-Yarmand, Amjad H. Talukder, Rui An Wang, Ratna K. Vadlamudi, Rakesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Emerging data suggest that metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1) represses ligand-dependent transactivation functions of estrogen receptor-alpha in cultured breast cancer cells and that MTA1 is upregulated in human breast tumors. However, the role of MTA1 in tumorigenesis in a physiologically relevant animal system remains unknown. To reveal the role of MTA1 in mammary gland development, transgenic mice expressing MTA1 under the control of the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter long terminal repeat were generated. Unexpectedly, we found that mammary glands of these virgin transgenic mice exhibited extensive side branching and precocious differentiation because of increased proliferation of ductal and alveolar epithelial cells. Mammary glands of virgin transgenic mice resemble those from wild-type mice in mid-pregnancy and inappropriately express β-casein, cyclin D1 and β-catenin protein. Increased ductal growth was also observed in the glands of ovariectomized female mice, as well as of transgenic male mice. MTA1 dysregulation in mammary epithelium and cancer cells triggered downregulation of the progesterone receptor-B isoform and upregulation of the progesterone receptor-A isoform, resulting in an imbalance in the native ratio of progesterone receptor A and B isoforms. MTA1 transgene also increased the expression of progesterone receptor-A target genes Bcl-XL (Bcl2l1) and cyclin D1 in mammary gland of virgin mice, and, subsequently, produced a delayed involution. Remarkably, 30% of MTA1 transgenic females developed focal hyperplastic nodules, and about 7% exhibited mammary tumors within 18 months. These studies establish, for the first time, a potential role of MTA1 in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. The underlying mechanism involves the upregulation of progesterone receptor A and its targets, Bcl-XL and cyclin D1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3469-3479
Number of pages11
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bc1-X
  • Bcl1211
  • Cyclin D1
  • MTA1
  • Mammary gland development
  • Progesterone receptors
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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