Expression profiling of migrated and invaded breast cancer cells predicts early metastatic relapse and reveals Krüppel-like factor 9 as a potential suppressor of invasive growth in breast cancer
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
, p. 69-81
University of Antwerp
Cell motility and invasion initiate metastasis. However, only a subpopulation of cancer cells within a tumor will ultimately become invasive. Due to this stochastic and transient nature, in an experimental setting, migrating and invading cells need to be isolated from the general population in order to study the gene expression profiles linked to these processes. This report describes microarray analysis on RNA derived from migrated or invaded subpopulations of triple negative breast cancer cells in a Transwell set-up, at two different time points during motility and invasion, pre-determined as "early" and "late" in real-time kinetic assessments. Invasion- and migration-related gene expression signatures were generated through comparison with non-invasive cells, remaining at the upper side of the Transwell membranes. Late-phase signatures of both invasion and migration indicated poor prognosis in a series of breast cancer data sets. Furthermore, evaluation of the genes constituting the prognostic invasion-related gene signature revealed Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) as a putative suppressor of invasive growth in breast cancer. Next to loss in invasive vs non-invasive cell lines, KLF9 also showed significantly lower expression levels in the "early" invasive cell population, in several public expression data sets and in clinical breast cancer samples when compared to normal tissue. Overexpression of EGFP-KLF9 fusion protein significantly altered morphology and blocked invasion and growth of MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro. In addition, KLF9 expression correlated inversely with mitotic activity in clinical samples, indicating anti-proliferative effects.