The ZNF217 gene amplified in breast cancers promotes immortalization of human mammary epithelial cells

Genevieve H. Nonet, Martha R. Stampfer, Koei Chin, Joe W. Gray, Colin C. Collins, Paul Yaswen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

The functional consequences of overexpression of a candidate oncogene on chromosome 20q13.2, ZNF217, were examined by transducing the gene into finite life span human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). In four independent experiments, ZNF217-transduced cultures gave rise to immortalized cells. HMECs that overcame senescence initially exhibited heterogeneous growth and continued telomere erosion, followed by increasing telomerase activity, stabilization of telomere length, and resistance to transforming growth factor β growth inhibition. The incremental changes in telomerase activity and growth that occurred in ZNF217 transduced cultures after they overcame senescence were similar to the conversion pattern we have described previously in rare HMEC lines immortalized after exposure to a chemical carcinogen. Aberrant expression of ZNF217 may be selected for during breast cancer progression because it allows breast cells to overcome senescence and attain immortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1254
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Volume61
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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