Cyclin D1 is necessary but not sufficient for anchorage-independent growth of rat mammary tumor cells and is associated with resistance of the Copenhagen rat to mammary carcinogenesis

You Jun Li, Runlan Song, James Korkola, Michael C. Archer, Yaacov Ben-David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


To identify genes associated with the resistance of Copenhagen (Cop) rats to mammary carcinogenesis, we infused a retrovirus harboring v-Ha-ras directly into the main mammary ducts of resistant F1 rats from a cross between Cop and susceptible Wistar Furth (WF) rats. Adenocarcinomas formed in approximately 50% of infused glands. Cell lines derived from these tumors were clonal, but did not share a common viral integration site, suggesting that a high level of v-Ha-ras expression was able to overcome resistance in the F1 rats. Some of the cell lines were able to grow in soft agar, but a significant number did not display anchorage-independent growth. These growth characteristics were independent of v-Ha-ras expression levels. The ability to grow in soft agar was associated with the size of tumors induced by injecting the cells into nude mice, and showed a striking positive association with the expression of cyclin D1. Furthermore, while resistance to anchorage-independent growth was fully overcome by transfection of cyclin D1 in some clones, in the others the effect was partial. A similar pattern of cyclin D1 upregulation and growth in soft agar was also observed when the cells were transfected with an active form of β-catenin. Hybrid cells from the somatic fusion of an anchorage-dependent to an anchorage-independent clone did not grow in soft agar. These results suggest that while a high expression level of cyclin D1 is necessary for anchorage-independent growth in all clones, it is not sufficient for full growth capacity in soft agar, raising the possibility that the loss of a tumor suppressor gene in the cell lines is required to fully confer anchorage-independent growth. Our anchorage-dependent and independent rat mammary tumor-derived cell lines may recapitulate the resistance and susceptibility of Cop and WF rats, respectively, to mammary carcinogenesis that could facilitate the identification of breast cancer susceptibility genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3452-3462
Number of pages11
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • β-catenin
  • Anoikis
  • Cyclin D1
  • Mammary carcinogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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