Migration and invasion study of non-transformed mammary epithelial cells overexpressing TP53 missense mutations frequently occurring in breast cancer
The purpose of this project was to identify proteins associated with the migration and invasion of non-transformed MCF10A mammary epithelial cells with ectopically expressed missense mutations in p53. Because of the prevalence of TP53 missense mutations in basal-like and triple-negative breast cancer tumors, understanding the effect of TP53 mutations on the phenotypic expression of human mammary epithelial cells may offer new therapeutic targets for those currently lacking in treatment options. As such, MCF10A mammary epithelial cells ectopically overexpressing structural mutations (G245S, H179R, R175H, Y163C, Y220C, and Y234C) and DNA-binding mutations (R248Q, R248W, R273C, and R273H) in the DNA-binding domain were selected for use in this project. Overexpression of p53 in the mutant cell lines was confirmed by western blot and q-PCR analysis targeting the V5 epitope tag present in the pLenti4 vector used to transduce TP53 into the mutant cell lines. Characterization of the invasion and migration phenotypes resulting from the overexpression of p53 in the mutant cell lines was achieved using transwell invasion and migration assays with Boyden chambers. Statistical analysis showed that three cell lines—DNA-contact mutants R248W and R273C and structural mutant Y220C—were consistently more migratory and invasive and demonstrated a relationship between the migration and invasion properties of the mutant cell lines. Two families of proteins were then explored: those involved in the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Results of q-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis of epithelial marker E-cadherin and mesenchymal proteins Slug and Vimentin did not show a clear relationship between mRNA and protein expression levels with the migration and invasiveness phenotypes observed in the transwell studies. Results of western blotting, q-PCR, and zymography of MMP-2 and MMP-9 also did not show any consistent results indicating a definite relationship between MMPs and the overall invasiveness of the cells. Finally, two drugs were tested as possible treatments inhibiting invasiveness: ebselen and SBI-183. These drugs were tested on only the most invasive of the MCF10A p53 mutant cell lines (R248W, R273C, and Y220C). Results of invasion assay following 30 μM treatment with ebselen and SBI-183 showed that ebselen does not inhibit invasiveness; SBI-183, however, did inhibit invasiveness in all three cell lines tested. As such, SBI-183 will be an important compound to study in the future as a treatment that could potentially serve to benefit triple-negative or basal-like breast cancer patients who currently lack therapeutic treatment options.