Expression and function of MutT homolog 1 in distinct subtypes of breast cancer
- 1 Department of Breast Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, P.R. China.
- 2 State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, P.R. China.
Human MutT homolog 1 (MTH1) detoxifies the oxidized DNA precursor 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine-5′-triphosphate and serves a tumor suppressive role in distinct types of cancer. In the present study, the expression of MTH1 was examined in various subtypes of breast cancer, and the effect of its suppression on breast cancer growth was characterized in vitro and in vivo. MTH1 mRNA and protein levels were assessed using the reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. The effect of MTH1 expression on the proliferation of breast cancer cells was investigated in vitro using Cell Counting Kit-8 and colony formation assays, and in vivo using breast cancer cell line xenografts in mice. The toxicity of the MTH1 inhibitor TH588 was investigated in nude mice. A marked increase in MTH1 protein and mRNA levels was demonstrated in breast cancer tissues compared with the non-cancerous control. However, no apparent differences in MTH1 expression were observed between distinct molecular subtypes of breast cancer. MTH1 overexpression was demonstrated to be independent of patient age, tumor size and lymph node metastasis. Inhibition of MTH1 decreased cancer cell viability and the clonogenic potential of cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. These results were confirmed by decreased in vivo proliferation of MCF7, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-453 cancer cell lines, representing distinct subtypes of breast cancer. Although inhibition of MTH1 activity decreased xenograft growth in mice, no major adverse effects of TH588 were detected on the basis of blood biochemistry, and liver and kidney function. The results of the present study suggested that MTH1 is overexpressed in the majority of breast cancers, independent of the molecular identity and clinicopathological features of the tumor, including patient age, tumor size and lymph node metastasis. Inhibition of MTH1 activity suppressed the growth of three subtypes of breast cancer, including luminal, basal-like and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with the MTH1 inhibitor appears to be safe; however, further studies are required prior to the clinical use of MTH1 inhibitors.
Keywords: MutT homolog 1; TH588; basal-like breast cancer; human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer; luminal breast cancer.