Markers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in an experimental breast cancer model induced by organophosphorous pesticides and estrogen (Review)
- Gloria M. Calaf
- Tammy C. Bleak
- Juan P. Muñoz
- Francisco Aguayo
Affiliations: Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica 1000000, Chile, Programa de Virología, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8380000, Chile
- Published online on: August 5, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11945
Copyright: © Calaf
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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Breast cancer is a major health problem and accounted for 11.6% of all new cancer cases and 6.6% of all cancer deaths among women worldwide in 2018. However, its etiology has remained elusive. According to epidemiological studies, environmental factors are influencing the increase in the incidence of breast cancer risk. Components such as chemicals, including pesticides, are agents that produce deleterious effects on wildlife and humans. Among them, the organophosphorus pesticides, such as malathion, have largely been considered in this etiology. The epithelial‑mesenchymal transition serves a key role in tumor progression and it is proposed that malathion is closely associated with the origin of this transition, among other causes. Moreover, proteins participating in this process are primordial in the transformation of a normal cell to a malignant tumor cell. The aim of the current study was to evaluate markers that indicated oncogenic properties. The results indicated greater expression levels of proteins associated with the epithelial‑to‑mesenchymal transition, including E‑cadherin, Vimentin, Axl, and Slug in the rat mammary glands treated with malathion alone and combined with estrogen. Atropine was demonstrated to counteract the malathion effect as a muscarinic antagonist. The understanding of the use of markers in experimental models is crucial to identify different stages in the cancer process. The alteration of these markers may serve as a predicting factor that can be used to indicate whether a person has altered ducts or lobules in breast tissue within biopsies of individuals exposed to OPs or other environmental substances.