UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Thompson Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Cancer Biology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Genetic Phenomena | Neoplasms | Therapeutics


BACKGROUND: Mammary cancer is highly prevalent in dogs and cats and results in a poor prognosis due to critically lacking viable treatment options. Recent human and mouse studies have suggested that inhibiting peptidyl arginine deiminase enzymes (PAD) may be a novel breast cancer therapy. Based on the similarities between human breast cancer and mammary cancer in dogs and cats, we hypothesized that PAD inhibitors would also be an effective treatment for mammary cancer in these animals.

METHODS: Canine and feline mammary cancer cell lines were treated with BB-Cl-Amidine (BB-CLA) and evaluated for viability and tumorigenicity. Endoplasmic reticulum stress was tested by western blot, immunofluorescence, and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Canine and feline mammary cancer xenograft models were created using NOD scid gamma (NSG) mice, and were treated with BB-CLA for two weeks.

RESULTS: We found that BB-CLA reduced viability and tumorigenicity of canine and feline mammary cancer cell lines in vitro. Additionally, we demonstrated that BB-CLA activates the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway in these cells by downregulating 78 kDa Glucose-regulated Protein (GRP78), a potential target in breast cancer for molecular therapy, and upregulating the downstream target gene DNA Damage Inducible Transcript 3 (DDIT3). Finally, we established a mouse xenograft model of both canine and feline mammary cancer in which we preliminarily tested the effects of BB-CLA in vivo.

CONCLUSION: We propose that our established mouse xenograft models will be useful for the study of mammary cancer in dogs and cats, and furthermore, that BB-CLA has potential as a novel therapeutic for mammary cancer in these species.


BB-cl-Amidine, Endoplasmic reticulum stress, Mammary cancer, Peptidyl arginine deiminase

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© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

DOI of Published Version



BMC Cancer. 2018 Apr 12;18(1):412. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4323-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC cancer

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.