Maspin, a serpin with tumor-suppressing activity in human mammary epithelial cells

Zhiqiang Zou, Anthony Anisowicz, Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ann Thor, Mark Neveu, Shijie Sheng, Kristina Rafidi, Elisabeth Seftor, Ruth Sager*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

851 Scopus citations


A gene encoding a protein related to the serpin family of protease inhibitors was identified as a candidate tumor suppressor gene that may play a role in human breast cancer. The gene product, called maspin, is expressed in normal mammary epithelial cells but not in most mammary carcinoma cell lines. Transfection of MDA-MB-435 mammary carcinoma cells with the maspin gene did not alter the cells' growth properties in vitro, but reduced the cells' ability to induce tumors and metastasize in nude mice and to invade through a basement membrane matrix in vitro. Analysis of human breast cancer specimens revealed that loss of maspin expression occurred most frequently in advanced cancers. These results support the hypothesis that maspin functions as a tumor suppressor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-529
Number of pages4
Issue number5146
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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