MUC1/sec-expressing tumors are rejected in vivo by a T cell-dependent mechanism and secrete high levels of CCL2

Joseph F. Grosso, Lynn M. Herbert, Jennifer L. Owen, Diana M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


MUC1/sec is a secreted form of the glycoprotein mucin 1 (MUC1). To characterize the role that MUC1 and MUC1/sec have in tumor progression, these genes were expressed in DA-3 mammary tumor cells. DA-3 cells and DA-3 cells expressing the transmembrane MUC1 gene (DA-3/TM) grow with similar kinetics in BALB/c mice. Surprisingly, DA-3 cells expressing and secreting MUC1/sec (DA-3/sec) fail to form tumors in vivo. The mechanism of rejection was evaluated using mice deficient in constituents of the immune system. All mice lacking IFN- γ, NK, NKT, or macrophages formed DA-3/sec tumors that regressed shortly after implantation. However, progressively growing DA-3/sec tumors developed in mice devoid of T lymphocytes. The importance of T lymphocytes in the rejection of DA-3/sec tumors was further supported by detection of DA-3-specific CTL in mice challenged with the DA-3/sec tumor. Recruitment of appropriate APC and effector cells is an important first step in the tumor clearance. Indeed, DA-3/sec cells or cell supernatants recruited 3-4 times as many macrophages as DA-3/TM cells in vivo, suggesting that a secreted chemotactic product is produced from DA-3/sec cells. MNA and protein analysis of DA-3/sec cells revealed that several genes are up-regulated by MUC1/sec expression, including MCP-1 (CCL-2). These results suggest DA-3/sec cells are capable of recruiting immune cells, and that rejection of DA-3/sec tumors, although aided by cells of the innate immune response, is ultimately due to T cell-mediated events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1721-1730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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