The Metal-Responsive Transcription Factor-1 Protein Is Elevated in Human Tumors


Shi Y, Amin K, Sato BG, Samuelsson SJ, Sambucetti L, Haroon ZA, Laderoute K, Murphy BJ. The metal-responsive transcription factor-1 protein is elevated in human tumors. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Mar 15;9(6):469-76. doi: 10.4161/cbt.9.6.10979. Epub 2010 Mar 20. PMID: 20087061; PMCID: PMC3039317.


We previously identified metal-responsive transcription factor-1 (MTF-1) as a positive contributor to mouse fibrosarcoma growth through effects on cell survival, proliferation, tumor angiogenesis and extracellular matrix remodeling. In the present study, we investigated MTF-1 protein expression in human tissues by specific immunostaining of both normal and tumor tissue samples. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of a human tissue microarray (TMA), using a unique anti-human MTF-1 antibody, indicated constitutive MTF-1 expression in most normal tissues, with liver and testis displaying comparatively high levels of expression. Nevertheless, MTF-1 protein levels were found to be significantly elevated in diverse human tumor types, including breast, lung and cervical carcinomas. IHC analysis of a separate panel of full-size tissue sections of human breast cancers, including tumor and normal adjacent, surrounding tissue, confirmed and extended the results of the TMA analysis. Taken with our previous findings, this new study suggests a role for MTF-1 in human tumor development, growth or spread. Moreover, the study suggests that MTF-1 could be a novel therapeutic target that offers the opportunity to manipulate metal or redox homeostasis in tumor cells.

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