Inhibition of BMP signaling suppresses metastasis in mammary cancer

P. Owens, M. W. Pickup, S. V. Novitskiy, J. M. Giltnane, A. E. Gorska, C. R. Hopkins, C. C. Hong, H. L. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are secreted cytokines/growth factors that have differing roles in cancer. BMPs are overexpressed in human breast cancers, but loss of BMP signaling in mammary carcinomas can accelerate metastasis. We show that human breast cancers display active BMP signaling, which is rarely downregulated or homozygously deleted. We hypothesized that systemic inhibition of BMP signaling in both the tumor and the surrounding microenvironment could prevent tumor progression and metastasis. To test this hypothesis, we used DMH1, a BMP antagonist, in MMTV.PyVmT expressing mice. Treatment with DMH1 reduced lung metastasis and the tumors were less proliferative and more apoptotic. In the surrounding tumor microenvironment, treatment with DMH1 altered fibroblasts, lymphatic vessels and macrophages to be less tumor promoting. These results indicate that inhibition of BMP signaling may successfully target both the tumor and the surrounding microenvironment to reduce tumor burden and metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2437-2449
Number of pages13
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 7 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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