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Up-regulation of transcription of smooth muscle myosin alkali light chain by ethanol in human breast cancer cells

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Both epidemiological and experimental studies indicate that ethanol is a tumor promoter and that chronic ethanol exposure enhances metastasis of breast cancer cells, and with an in vitro model (T47D human breast cancer cells), we have previously demonstrated that ethanol exposure stimulated the migration of breast cancer cells. In the present study, differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to identify ethanol-responsive genes in T47D cells. Three differentially displayed, ethanol-responsive gene fragments were identified, and their expression was confirmed by Northern blot hybridization. Sequence analysis revealed that one cDNA fragment represented the myosin alkali light chain (MLC 1sm) of human smooth muscle. The expression of MLC 1sm was found to be significantly higher in breast cancer cells than in normal mammary epithelial cells. With T47D cells, ethanol induced an additional duration- and concentration-dependent up-regulation of MLC 1sm. At 400 mg/dl, an ethanol-mediated increase was evident at 6 h (55% increase), peaked at 24 h (2.7-fold increase) following exposure, and diminished thereafter. At pharmacologically relevant concentrations (e.g., 100 mg/dl), ethanol produced a significant increase of MLC 1sm expression, and progressively higher ethanol concentrations resulted in more up-regulation. The half-life of MLC 1sm mRNA was not altered, however, the transcription rate of MLC 1sm was significantly increased by ethanol. MLC is a structural component of the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells, and it plays critical roles in the regulation of cell shaping, movement, and growth. Thus, ethanol-mediated up-regulation of MLC may be an underlying molecular mechanism for its tumor promoting effect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anatomy, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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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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