Research Papers:

Human HER2 overexpressing mouse breast cancer cell lines derived from MMTV.f.HuHER2 mice: characterization and use in a model of metastatic breast cancer

Sunju Park, Jessie R. Nedrow, Anders Josefsson and George Sgouros _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:68071-68082. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19174

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Sunju Park1, Jessie R. Nedrow1, Anders Josefsson1 and George Sgouros1

1Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to:

George Sgouros, email: [email protected]

Keywords: HER2, radioimmunotherapy, 111In-DTPA-trastuzumab, breast cancer

Received: February 09, 2017    Accepted: June 05, 2017    Published: July 10, 2017


Preclinical evaluation of therapeutic agents against metastatic breast cancer require cell lines and animal models that recapitulate clinical metastatic breast cancer as much as possible. We have previously used cell lines derived from the neu-N transgenic model to investigate anti-neu targeting of metastatic breast cancer using an alpha-emitter labeled antibody reactive with the rat variant of HER2/neu expressed by the neu-N model. To investigate alpha-particle emitter targeting of metastatic breast cancer using clinically relevant, commercially available anti-HER2/neu antibodies, we have developed cell lines derived from primary tumors and lung metastases from HuHER2 transgenic mice. We extracted primary mammary gland tumors, isolated the epithelial breast cancer cells, and established seven different cell lines. We also established 2 different cell lines from spontaneous lung metastases and cell lines from a serial transplantation of tumor tissues in HuHER2 transgenic mice. HuHER2 protein was overexpressed in all of the established cell lines. The mRNA level of ER (estrogen receptor) and PR (progesterone receptor) was relatively low in the cell lines compared to normal mammary gland (MG). As EMT markers, the expression of E-Cadherin in the cell lines was downregulated while the expression of TWIST1 and Vimentin were upregulated, relative to MG. Furthermore, trastuzumab directly inhibited cellular viability. Biodistribution studies with 111In-DTPA-trastuzumab in HuHER2 cell tumor xenografts demonstrated specific targeting with a clinically relevant antibody. Collectively, these cell lines show all the hallmarks of highly aggressive, metastatic breast cancer and are being used to evaluate combination therapy with alpha-particle emitter labeled HER2/neu reactive antibodies.

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