Mechanostimulation of breast myoepithelial cells induces functional changes associated with DCIS progression to invasion

Mary-Kate Hayward, Michael D. Allen, Jennifer J. Gomm, Iain Goulding, Clare L. Thompson, Martin M. Knight, John F. Marshall, J. Louise Jones

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Women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) have an increased risk of progression to invasive breast cancer. Although not all women with DCIS will progress to invasion, all are treated as such, emphasising the need to identify prognostic biomarkers. We have previously shown that altered myoepithelial cells in DCIS predict disease progression and recurrence. By analysing DCIS duct size in sections of human breast tumour samples, we identified an associated upregulation of integrin β6 and an increase in periductal fibronectin deposition with increased DCIS duct size that associated with the progression of DCIS to invasion. Our modelling of the mechanical stretching myoepithelial cells undergo during DCIS progression confirmed the upregulation of integrin β6 and fibronectin expression in isolated primary and cell line models of normal myoepithelial cells. Our studies reveal that this mechanostimulated DCIS myoepithelial cell phenotype enhances invasion in a TGFβ-mediated upregulation of MMP13. Immunohistochemical analysis identified that MMP13 was specifically upregulated in DCIS, and it was associated with progression to invasion. These findings implicate tissue mechanics in altering the myoepithelial cell phenotype in DCIS, and that these alterations may be used to stratify DCIS patients into low and high risk for invasive progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Early online date20 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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