Osteocyte-driven downregulation of snail restrains effects of Drd2 inhibitors on mammary tumor cells

Shengzhi Liu, Yao Fan, Andy Chen, Aydin Jalali, Kazumasa Minami, Kazuhiko Ogawa, Harikrishna Nakshatri, Bai Yan Li, Hiroki Yokota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


While bone is a frequent target of breast cancer–associated metastasis, little is known about the effects of tumor–bone interactions on the efficacy of tumor-suppressing agents. Here we examined the effect of two FDA-approved dopamine modulators, fluphenazine and trifluoperazine, on mammary tumor cells, osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes. These agents suppressed proliferation and migration of mammary tumor cells chiefly by antagonizing dopamine receptor D2 and reduced bone resorption by downregulating nuclear factor of activated T cells, cytoplasmic 1 (Nfatc1). Three-dimensional spheroid formation assays revealed that tumor cells have high affinity to osteocytes and type I collagen, and interactions with osteocytes as well as administration of fluphenazine and trifluoperazine downregulated Snail and suppressed migratory behaviors. Unlike the inhibitory action of fluphenazine and trifluoperazine on tumor growth, tumor–osteocyte interactions stimulated tumor proliferation by upregulating NFkB and Akt. In the bone microenvironment, osteocytes downregulated Snail and acted as an attractant as well as a stimulant to mammary tumor cells. These results demonstrate that tumor–osteocyte interactions strengthen dopamine receptor–mediated suppression of tumor migration but weaken its inhibition of tumor proliferation in the osteocyte-rich bone microenvironment. Significance: These findings provide novel insight into thecellular cross-talk in the bone microevironment and the effects of dopamine modulators on mammary tumor cells and osteocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3865-3876
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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