23 Scopus citations


Our experiments were designed to test the cooperativity between the polyamine pathway and HER-2neu in inducing transformation of human mammary epithelial cells in culture. Using the MCF-10A breast epithelial cell line, we observed that induction of overexpression of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) (the first rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis) markedly potentiated the anchorage-independent growth stimulating effect of the β2 isoform of neu differentiating factor (NDF) known to activate HER-2neu in MCF-10A cells. ODC overexpression, on the other hand, did not enhance growth in liquid culture, thus pointing to a specific effect on transformation rather than proliferation. ODC-overexpressing MCF-10A cells exhibited increased MAPK phosphorylation in response to administration of NDF and/or epidermal growth factor (EGF). In contrast, the phosphorylation of the members of the stress-activated protein kinase cascade p38 and SEK were not affected by ODC overexpression. Of note, in the absence of EGF and NDF, ODC overexpression failed to induce both clonogenicity and MAPK activation. These results suggest that increased polyamine biosynthetic activity critically interacts with HER-2neu in promoting human mammary cell transformation in culture and that the MAPK cascade is an important mediator of this interaction. If confirmed in future in vivo studies, our results may identify important new targets for the chemoprevention of human breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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