Normal breast-derived epithelial cells with luminal and intrinsic subtype-enriched gene expression document interindividual differences in their differentiation Cascade

Brijesh Kumar, Mayuri Prasad, Poornima Bhat-Nakshatri, Manjushree Anjanappa, Maitri Kalra, Natascia Marino, Anna Maria Storniolo, Xi Rao, Sheng Liu, Jun Wan, Yunlong Liu, Harikrishna Nakshatri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Cell-type origin is one of the factors that determine molecular features of tumors, but resources to validate this concept are scarce because of technical difficulties in propagating major cell types of adult organs. Previous attempts to generate such resources to study breast cancer have yielded predominantly basal-type cell lines. We have created a panel of immortalized cell lines from core breast biopsies of ancestry-mapped healthy women that form ductal structures similar to normal breast in 3D cultures and expressed markers of major cell types, including the luminal-differentiated cell-enriched ERa–FOXA1–GATA3 transcription factor network. We have also created cell lines from PROCR (CD201)þ/EpCAM cells that are likely the "normal" counterpart of the claudin-low subtype of breast cancers. RNA-seq and PAM50-intrinsic subtype clustering identified these cell lines as the "normal" counterparts of luminal A, basal, and normal-like subtypes and validated via immunostaining with basal-enriched KRT14 and luminal-enriched KRT19. We further characterized these cell lines by flow cytometry for distribution patterns of stem/basal, luminal-progenitor, mature/differentiated, multipotent PROCRþ cells, and organogenesis-enriched epithelial/mesenchymal hybrid cells using CD44/CD24, CD49f/EpCAM, CD271/ EpCAM, CD201/EpCAM, and ALDEFLUOR assays and E-cadherin/vimentin double staining. These cell lines showed interindividual heterogeneity in stemness/differentiation capabilities and baseline activity of signaling molecules such as NF-kB, AKT2, pERK, and BRD4. These resources can be used to test the emerging concept that genetic variations in regulatory regions contribute to widespread differences in gene expression in "normal" conditions among the general population and can delineate the impact of cell-type origin on tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5107-5123
Number of pages17
JournalCancer Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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