Mullerian inhibiting substance inhibits breast cancer cell growth through an NFkappa B-mediated pathway

D L Segev, T U Ha, T T Tran, M Kenneally, P Harkin, M Jung, D T MacLaughlin, P K Donahoe, S Maheswaran, Denis Harkin

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116 Citations (Scopus)


Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS), a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, induces regression of the Müllerian duct in male embryos. In this report, we demonstrate MIS type II receptor expression in normal breast tissue and in human breast cancer cell lines, breast fibroadenoma, and ductal adenocarcinomas. MIS inhibited the growth of both estrogen receptor (ER)-positive T47D and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines, suggesting a broader range of target tissues for MIS action. Inhibition of growth was manifested by an increase in the fraction of cells in the G(1) phase of the cell cycle and induction of apoptosis. Treatment of breast cancer cells with MIS activated the NFkappaB pathway and selectively up-regulated the immediate early gene IEX-1S, which, when overexpressed, inhibited breast cancer cell growth. Dominant negative IkappaBalpha expression ablated both MIS-mediated induction of IEX-1S and inhibition of growth, indicating that activation of the NFkappaB signaling pathway was required for these processes. These results identify the NFkappaB-mediated signaling pathway and a target gene for MIS action and suggest a putative role for the MIS ligand and its downstream interactors in the treatment of ER-positive as well as negative breast cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28371-9
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2000


  • Animals
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • COS Cells
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Testicular Hormones
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


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