Blocking tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis by maspin in a syngeneic breast cancer model

Heidi Y. Shi, Weiguo Zhang, Rong Liang, Shaji Abraham, Francis S. Kittrell, Daniel Medina, Ming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Maspin is a unique serine protease inhibitor of which the down-regulation is associated with the development of breast cancers. In vitro, recombinant maspin inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion. Overexpression of maspin in transgenic mice is protective against tumor progression. Additionally, maspin acts as an angiogenesis inhibitor in rat cornea model and in a xenograft tumor model. To additionally prove that maspin is directly involved in the suppression of tumor growth and metastasis, we tested maspin in a new syngeneic mammary tumor model, TM40D. This model involves the implantation of TM40D mammary tumor cells orthotopically to the mammary gland; tumors grew within the gland and then become invasive and metastatic to other organs. Here we demonstrate that TM40D cells in implanted mammary glands are highly invasive. Overall, a 75% rate of invasion and metastasis was observed in this model. However, both primary tumor growth and metastasis were significantly blocked in TM40D cells that overexpress maspin as a consequence of plasmid or retrovirus infection. Maspin-transfected tumors tended to have tumor encapsulation and less necrosis, which were associated with better prognosis and lower invasiveness. Thus, maspin can block primary tumor growth as well as invasion and metastasis. These data support the concept that maspin has a strong protective role against tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6945-6951
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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