Research Papers:

Targeting MCM2 function as a novel strategy for the treatment of highly malignant breast tumors

Shinya Abe _, Kouhei Yamamoto, Morito Kurata, Shiho Abe-Suzuki, Rie Horii, Futoshi Akiyama and Masanobu Kitagawa

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:34892-34909. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5408

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Shinya Abe1, Kouhei Yamamoto1, Morito Kurata1, Shiho Abe-Suzuki1, Rie Horii2, Futoshi Akiyama3, Masanobu Kitagawa1

1Department of Comprehensive Pathology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

2Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute Hospital, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

3Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to:

Shinya Abe, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: apoptosis, breast cancer, cancer stem cell, DNA-damage, MCM2

Received: May 25, 2015     Accepted: September 18, 2015     Published: September 30, 2015


Highly malignant tumors express high levels of the minichromosome maintenance 2 (MCM2) protein, which is associated with advanced tumor grade, advanced stage, and poor prognosis. In a previous study, we showed that Friend leukemia virus (FLV) envelope protein gp70 bound MCM2, impaired its nuclear translocation, and enhanced DNA-damage-induced apoptosis in FLV-infected hematopoietic cells when the cells expressed high levels of MCM2. Here, we show that MCM2 is highly expressed in clinical samples of invasive carcinoma of the breast, especially triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and in cancer stem cell (CSC) marker-positive breast cancer cells. To generate a cancer therapy model using gp70, we introduced the gp70 protein into the cytoplasm of murine breast cancer cells that express high levels of MCM2 by conjugating the protein transduction domain (PTD) of Hph-1 to gp70 (Hph-1-gp70). Hph-1-gp70 was successfully transduced into the cytoplasm of breast cancer cells. The transduced protein enhanced the DNA damage-induced apoptosis of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, an MCM2-targeted strategy using Hph-1-gp70 treatment to induce DNA damage might be a successful therapy for highly malignant breast cancers such as TNBC and for the eradication of CSC-like cells from breast cancer tissue.

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