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The association between a mutated ras gene and cyclooxygenase-2 expression in human breast cancer cell lines.

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Cyclooxygenase (COX) is rate-limiting for arachidonic acid metabolism to the prostanoid family of eicosanoids. Some human breast cancers, notably those which are estrogen receptor (ER)-negative with high metastatic potential, produce high levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). In some cell types, expression of the inducible COX-2 isoform occurred in association with a ras gene mutation. We determined COX-1 and COX-2 expression, and the corresponding PGE2 secretions, in 4 ER-negative human breast cancer cell lines, the MCF10A breast epithelial cell line, and the same non-cancerous line transfected with a mutated ras gene. The highly invasive MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cancer cell lines, which possess a mutated Ki-ras and H-ras, respectively, expressed constitutive and inducible COX-2, and produced high PGE2 levels; the less invasive MDA-MB-435 and SK-BR-3 lines, without a mutated ras, possessed only low levels of COX-2, and secreted correspondingly low PGE2 levels. Similarly, the ras transfectant, but not parental MCF10A cells, expressed inducible COX-2. Chemosuppression with a selective COX-2 inhibitor may be effective only in that minority of breast cancers which have a mutated ras gene.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Nutrition and Endocrinology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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