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PMC42, a novel model for the differentiated human breast
journal contributionposted on 2001-02-01, 00:00 authored by Leigh Ackland, Agnes MichalczykAgnes Michalczyk, R Whitehead
Cultured human breast carcinoma cell lines are important models for investigating the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Their use, however, is limited because of loss of expression of breast-specific markers and the development of a dedifferentiated phenotype after continuous culture. PMC42 is a unique human breast carcinoma line, previously shown to express secretory and myoepithelial markers. We have induced PMC42 cells to form hollow organoids in culture, similar to in vivo breast structures, using a combination of hormones including estrogen, progesterone, dexamethasone, insulin, and prolactin in combination with a permeable extracellular matrix. The organoids comprised polarized cells located around a central lumen. Expression of β-casein was demonstrated in cells within organoids using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, and confocal immunofluorescence. In this in vitro system, milk-specific gene expression was induced through hormone and matrix interactions which may be similar to those operating in vivo. PMC42 is a novel model for investigations into the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and differentiation in the human breast.