Department of Cell Biology
Epithelial Cells; Mammary Glands, Human; Basement Membrane; Morphogenesis; Cell Differentiation; Cell Proliferation
Cell Biology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: MCF-10A cells are near diploid and normal human mammary epithelial cells. In three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane culture, they undergo a well-defined program of proliferation, differentiation, and growth arrest, forming acinar structures that recapitulate many aspects of mammary architecture in vivo. The pre-malignant MCF-10AT cells and malignant MCF-10CA1a lines were sequentially derived from the MCF-10A parental cell line first by expression of a constitutively active T24 H-Ras generating the MCF-10AT cell line. This was followed by repeated selection for increasingly aggressive tumor formation from cells recovered from xenograft tumors in immuno-compromised mice, generating the MCF-10CA1a cell line. When inoculated subcutaneously into the flanks of immuno-compromised mice, MCF-10AT cells occasionally form tumors, whereas MCF-10CA1a cells invariably form tumors with a shorter latency than MCF-10AT derived tumors.
RESULTS: MCF-10AT cells grown in three-dimensional basement membrane culture form complex multi-acinar structures that produce a basement membrane but undergo delayed cell cycle arrest and have incomplete luminal development. MCF-10CA1a cells grown in three-dimensional basement membrane culture form large, hyper-proliferative masses, that retain few characteristics of MCF10A acini and more closely resemble tumors.
CONCLUSION: Here we report on the growth and differentiation properties of these three matched cell lines in three-dimensional basement membrane culture. Features of tissue morphogenesis were assessed, including proliferation, basement membrane formation, polarization of alpha-6 beta-4 integrin to the basement membrane, formation of cell:cell junctions, and apoptosis for luminal clearance. The matched series of normal MCF-10A, pre-malignant MCF-10AT, and malignant MCF-10CA1a cells offers a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of malignant progression both in a three-dimensional microenvironment and in the same cell background.
Rights and Permissions
Citation: Cancer Cell Int. 2009 Mar 16;9:7. Link to article on publisher's site