The metal-responsive transcription factor-1 protein is elevated in human tumors

Yihui Shi, Khalid Amin, Barbara G. Sato, Steven J. Samuelsson, Lidia Sambucetti, Zishan A. Haroon, Keith Laderoute, Brian J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We previously identified metal-responsive transcription factor-1 (MTF-1) as a positive contributor to mouse fibrosarcoma growth through effects on cell survival, proliferation, tumor angiogenesis and extracellular matrix remodeling. In the present study, we investigated MTF-1 protein expression in human tissues by specific immunostaining of both normal and tumor tissue samples. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of a human tissue microarray (TMA), using a unique antihuman MTF-1 antibody, indicated constitutive MTF-1 expression in most normal tissues, with liver and testis displaying comparatively high levels of expression. Nevertheless, MTF-1 protein levels were found to be significantly elevated in diverse human tumor types, including breast, lung and cervical carcinomas. IHC analysis of a separate panel of fullsize tissue sections of human breast cancers, including tumor and normal adjacent, surrounding tissue, confirmed and extended the results of the TMA analysis. Taken with our previous findings, this new study suggests a role for MTF-1 in human tumor development, growth or spread. Moreover, the study suggests that MTF-1 could be a novel therapeutic target that offers the opportunity to manipulate metal or redox homeostasis in tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We greatly appreciate the technical assistance of Theresamai Le and Guita Lalehzadeh. We also thank Dr. Gui-shuang Ying (University of Pennsylvania) for invaluable assistance with statistical analysis. This study was supported CA57692, awarded to the late Brian J. Murphy.


  • Human breast carcinomas
  • Human tissue microarray
  • Human tumors
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MTF-1

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