The unique C- and N-terminal sequences of Metallothionein isoform 3 mediate growth inhibition and Vectorial active transport in MCF-7 cells | Academic Article individual record

© 2017 The Author(s). Background: The 3rd isoform of the metallothionein (MT3) gene family has been shown to be overexpressed in most ductal breast cancers. A previous study has shown that the stable transfection of MCF-7 cells with the MT3 gene inhibits cell growth. The goal of the present study was to determine the role of the unique C-terminal and N-terminal sequences of MT3 on phenotypic properties and gene expression profiles of MCF-7 cells. Methods: MCF-7 cells were transfected with various metallothionein gene constructs which contain the insertion or the removal of the unique MT3 C- and N-terminal domains. Global gene expression analysis was performed on the MCF-7 cells containing the various constructs and the expression of the unique C- and N- terminal domains of MT3 was correlated to phenotypic properties of the cells. Results: The results of the present study demonstrate that the C-terminal sequence of MT3, in the absence of the N-terminal sequence, induces dome formation in MCF-7 cells, which in cell cultures is the phenotypic manifestation of a cell's ability to perform vectorial active transport. Global gene expression analysis demonstrated that the increased expression of the GAGE gene family correlated with dome formation. Expression of the C-terminal domain induced GAGE gene expression, whereas the N-terminal domain inhibited GAGE gene expression and that the effect of the N-terminal domain inhibition was dominant over the C-terminal domain of MT3. Transfection with the metallothionein 1E gene increased the expression of GAGE genes. In addition, both the C- and the N-terminal sequences of the MT3 gene had growth inhibitory properties, which correlated to an increased expression of the interferon alpha-inducible protein 6. Conclusions: Our study shows that the C-terminal domain of MT3 confers dome formation in MCF-7 cells and the presence of this domain induces expression of the GAGE family of genes. The differential effects of MT3 and metallothionein 1E on the expression of GAGE genes suggests unique roles of these genes in the development and progression of breast cancer. The finding that interferon alpha-inducible protein 6 expression is associated with the ability of MT3 to inhibit growth needs further investigation.

author list (cited authors)
Voels, B., Wang, L., Sens, D. A., Garrett, S. H., Zhang, K., & Somji, S.
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  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Protein Interaction Domains And Motifs
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Female
  • Humans
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