• Authors: Garulli, C., Kalogris, C., Pietrella, L., Bartolacci, C., Andreani, C., Falconi, M., Marchini, C., Amici, A.
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: Cell Signal 26 352-62
  • Applications: in vitro / siRNA / INTERFERin
  • Cell type: A17
    Description: Mouse primary invasive mesenchymal cell line from mammary tumors


50 nM


Increasing evidence supports the theory that tumor growth, homeostasis, and recurrence are dependent on a small subset of cells with stem cell properties, redefined cancer initiating cells (CICs) or cancer stem cells. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are involved in cell-fate specification during embryogenesis, in the maintenance of developmental potency in adult stem cells and may contribute to sustain CIC populations in breast carcinoma. Using the mouse A17 cell model previously related to mesenchymal cancer stem cells and displaying properties of CICs, we investigated the role of BMPs in the control of breast cancer cell plasticity. We showed that an autocrine activation of BMP signaling is crucial for the maintenance of mesenchymal stem cell phenotype and tumorigenic potential of A17 cells. Pharmacological inhibition of BMP signaling cascade by Dorsomorphin resulted in the acquisition of epithelial-like traits by A17 cells, including expression of Citokeratin-18 and E-cadherin, through downregulation of Snail and Slug transcriptional factors and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) expression, and in the loss of their stem-features and self-renewal ability. This phenotypic switch compromised A17 cell motility, invasiveness and in vitro tumor growth. These results reveal that BMPs are key molecules at the crossroad between stemness and cancer.