Overexpression of 27-kDa heat-shock protein in MCF-7 breast cancer cells: effects on lymphocyte-mediated killing by natural killer and γδ T cells

David M. Mahvi*, Stephen W. Carper, F. Kristian Storm, Stephanie R. Teal, Paul M. Sondel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Overexpression of the heat-shock protein hsp27 protein in primary breast cancers has been associated with early relapse in women with breast cancer. This study was designed to determine the role of the hsp27 protein in lymphocyte recognition of estrogen-receptor(ER)-positive breast cancer cells and to assess the effect of hsp27 expression on lymphocyte-mediated lysis. The hsp27 cDNA was inserted into the pHbAPr-1-neo plasmid expression vector and driven by the constitutive actin promoter. The ER-positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line was then transfected with this vector and the resulting clonal cell lines were confirmed to overexpress hsp27. hsp27-transfected clonal cell lines stimulated the proliferation of fresh peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) significantly better than control cells transfected with the expression vector alone. When clonal γδ T cell lines were utilized as effectors, hsp27-transfected cell lines were significantly better targets for lysis than a control-transfected MCF-7 cell line. In contrast, hsp27-transfected cell lines had no increase in susceptibility to lymphokine-activated-killer- or natural-killer-mediated lysis. These results suggest that overexpression of the hsp27 protein in ER-positive MCF-7 cells stimulated the proliferation of fresh PBL and the lysis of MCF-7 cells by γδ T cell clones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1993



  • Breast cancer
  • Heat-shock proteins
  • Lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research

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