Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 121–132 | Cite as

Leptin-induced growth of human ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells is associated with up-regulation of cyclin D1 and c-Myc and down-regulation of tumor suppressor p53 and p21WAF1/CIP1

  • Chiachen Chen
  • Yuan-Ching Chang
  • Chien-Liang Liu
  • King-Jen Chang
  • Ing-Cherng Guo
Preclinical study


Obesity has been recognized as a risk factor for breast cancer. Adipocyte-derived leptin may play as a paracrine regulator on the growth of breast cancer cells. Expression of both leptin and its OB-Rb receptor was detected in human breast cancer ZR-75-1 cells and further induced by leptin, suggesting that both expression and message mediation of leptin were autoregulated by itself. With cell counting and MTT assay, we had observed leptin stimulated ZR-75-1 growth in dose- and time-dependent manners. To study what steps of cell cycle progression leptin may involve in, we analyzed cell-cycle profile with flow cytometric analysis, mRNA and protein expressions of four cell-cycle regulators with RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis. Under the treatment of leptin, the G1 arrest of cells was reduced accompanied with up-regulation of G1 phase-specific cyclin D1 and proto-oncogene c-Myc, but down-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1 and tumor suppressor p53. Furthermore, JAK2 inhibitor AG490, PI3K/Akt inhibitor Wortmannin, and MEK/ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 were efficiently prevented leptin-promoted cell growth. Effect of cooperation between leptin and estrogen on ZR-75-1 growth had been observed. Collectively, the results showed that the proliferative effect of leptin on ZR-75-1 was associated with the up-regulation of cyclin D1 and c-Myc and down-regulation of tumor suppressor p53 and p21WAF1/CIP1 plausibly through a hypothesized JAK2-PI3K/Akt-MEK/ERK pathway. The leptin- and OB-Rb-expressing capability of ZR-75-1 created a possible autocrine control of leptin, in which signal could be effectively amplified by itself, on cell growth.


breast cancer c-Myc cyclin D1 leptin leptin receptor p21WAF1/CIP1 tumor suppressor p53 


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This work was supported by Mackay Memorial Hospital and by grants from National Science Council, Republic of China, NSC 91-2313-B-002-387 to I.-C. G., NSC 92-2314-B-195-020 and NSC 93-2314-B-195-026 to C.-L. L., and NSC 91-2320-B-002-160 to K.-J. C.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiachen Chen
    • 1
  • Yuan-Ching Chang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chien-Liang Liu
    • 2
    • 3
  • King-Jen Chang
    • 4
  • Ing-Cherng Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bio-Resources and AgricultureNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryMackay Memorial HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Mackay MedicineNursing and Management CollegeTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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