We have posited that Odontogenic Ameloblast Associated Protein (ODAM) serves as a novel prognostic biomarker in breast cancer and now have investigated its potential role in regulating tumor growth and metastasis. Human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells were transfected with a recombinant ODAM plasmid construct (or, as a control, the plasmid vector alone). ODAM expression increased adhesion and apoptosis of the transfected MDA-MB-231 cells and suppressed their growth rate, migratory activity, and capability to invade extracellular matrix-coated membranes. Implantation of such cells into mouse mammary fat pads resulted in significantly smaller tumors than occurred in animals that received control cells; furthermore, ODAM-expressing cells, when injected intravenously into mice, failed to metastasize, whereas the control-transfected counterparts produced extensive lung lesions. Our finding that induction of ODAM expression in human breast cancer cells markedly inhibited their neoplastic properties provides further evidence for the regulatory role of this molecule in tumorigenesis and, consequently, is of potential clinical import.
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