Bombesin antagonists inhibit growth of MDA-MB-435 estrogen-independent breast cancers and decrease the expression of the ErbB-2/HER-2 oncoprotein and c-jun and c-fos oncogenes

Ana M. Bajo, Andrew V. Schally, Magdalena Krupa, Francine Hebert, Kate Groot, Karoly Szepeshazi

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Previous studies showed that antagonists of bombesin (BN)/gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) inhibit the growth of various cancers by interfering with the growth-stimulatory effects of BN-like peptides and down-regulating epidermal growth factor receptors on tumors. Because the overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (ErbB-2/HER-2/neu) oncogene plays a role in the progression of many breast cancers, we investigated whether BN/GRP antagonists can affect HER-2 in mammary tumors. Female nude mice bearing orthotopic xenografts of MDA-MB-435 human estrogen-independent breast cancers were treated daily with BN/GRP antagonists RC-3095 (20 μg) or RC-3940-11 (10 μg) for 6 weeks. The expression of BN/GRP receptors on tumors was analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR and immunoblotting. We also evaluated whether the mRNA expression for the c-jun and c-fos oncogenes is affected by the therapy. Both BN/GRP antagonists significantly inhibited growth of MDA-MB-435 cancers; RC-3095 reduced tumor volume by 40% and RC-3940-ll by 65%. The GRP receptors (subtype 1) were detected in MDA-MB-435 tumors, showing that they mediate the inhibitory effect of the antagonists. Tumor inhibition was associated with a substantial reduction in the expression of mRNA and protein levels of the ErbB/HER receptor family as well as with a decrease in the expression of c-jun and c-fos oncogenes. BN/GRP antagonists RC-3940-ll and RC-3095 could be considered for endocrine therapy of estrogen-independent breast cancers that express members of the ErbB/HER receptor family and the c-jun and c-fos oncogenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3836-3841
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2002


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