mTOR inhibition abrogates human mammary stem cells and early breast cancer progression markers

Hakim Bouamar, Larry Esteban Broome, Kate Ida Lathrop, Ismail Jatoi, Andrew Jacob Brenner, Alia Nazarullah, Karla Moncada Gorena, Michael Garcia, Yidong Chen, Virginia Kaklamani, Lu Zhe Sun

Producción científica: Articlerevisión exhaustiva

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Background: Mammary physiology is distinguished in containing adult stem/progenitor cells that are actively amending the breast tissue throughout the reproductive lifespan of women. Despite their importance in both mammary gland development, physiological maintenance, and reproduction, the exact role of mammary stem/progenitor cells in mammary tumorigenesis has not been fully elucidated in humans or animal models. The implications of modulating adult stem/progenitor cells in women could lead to a better understanding of not only their function, but also toward possible breast cancer prevention led us to evaluate the efficacy of rapamycin in reducing mammary stem/progenitor cell activity and malignant progression markers. Methods: We analyzed a large number of human breast tissues for their basal and luminal cell composition with flow cytometry and their stem and progenitor cell function with sphere formation assay with respect to age and menopausal status in connection with a clinical study (NCT02642094) involving a low-dose (2 mg/day) and short-term (5–7 days) treatment of the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus. The expression of biomarkers in biopsies and surgical breast samples were measured with quantitative analysis of immunohistochemistry. Results: Sirolimus treatment significantly abrogated mammary stem cell activity, particularly in postmenopausal patients. It did not affect the frequency of luminal progenitors but decreased their self-renewal capacity. While sirolimus had no effect on basal cell population, it decreased luminal cell population, particularly in postmenopausal patients. It also significantly diminished prognostic biomarkers associated with breast cancer progression from ductal carcinoma in situ to invasive breast cancer including p16INK4A, COX-2, and Ki67, as well as markers of the senescence-associated secretary phenotype, thereby possibly functioning in preventing early breast cancer progression. Conclusion: Overall, these findings indicate a link from mTOR signaling to mammary stem and progenitor cell activity and cancer progression. Trial registration This study involves a clinical trial registered under the identifier NCT02642094 registered December 30, 2015.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Número de artículo131
PublicaciónBreast Cancer Research
EstadoPublished - dic 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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