Protein tyrosine phosphatase gamma (PTPgamma) is a member of the receptor-like family of tyrosine phosphatases and has been implicated as a tumor suppressor gene in kidney and lung cancers. Based on our previous findings, we hypothesize that PTPgamma is a potential estrogen-regulated tumor suppressor gene in human breast cancer. To examine the effects of PTPgamma on growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and compare the estrogenic responses of human breast cells with different PTPgamma expression levels, we established several stably transfected MCF-7 cell lines expressing different levels of PTPgamma, which were confirmed by RT-PCR and immunostaining. In our work, we used the antisense construct to breakdown endogenous PTPgamma level in MCF-7 cells. The results from doubling time assay suggested that PTPgamma is capable of inhibiting MCF-7 breast cancer cell growth. We further demonstrated that PTPgamma is able to inhibit anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells in soft agar and reduce the estrogenic responses of MCF-7 cell proliferation to estradiol-17beta (E(2)) and zeranol (Z, a nonsteroidal growth promoter with estrogenic activity). Our data suggest that PTPgamma may function as an important modulator in regulating the process of tumorigenesis in human breast.
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