Tissue, cell type, and breast cancer stage-specific expression of a TGF- β inducible early transcription factor gene

M. Subramaniam, T. E. Hefferan, K. Tau, D. Peus, M. Pittelkow, S. Jalal, B. L. Riggs, P. Roche, T. C. Spelsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This laboratory has previously identified a novel TGF-β inducible early gene (TIEG) in human osteoblasts [Subramaniam et al. (1995): Nucleic Acids Res 23:4907-4912]. Using TIEG specific polyclonal antibody and immunoprecipitation methods in normal human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB cells), we have now demonstrated that TIEG encodes a 72-kDa protein whose levels are transiently increased at as early as 2 h of TGF-β treatment. Polarized confocal microscopic analysis of hFOB cells shows a nuclear localized TIEG protein in untreated cells under the conditions described under Methods, interestingly, the levels of TIEG protein in the nuclei increase when the cells are treated with TGF-β1 for 2 h. In contrast, similar analyses of untreated human keratinocytes show a cytoplasmic localized TIEG protein that appears to be translocated to the nucleus after H2O2 treatment. Additional immunohistochemical studies have demonstrated that TIEG protein is expressed in epithelial cells of the placenta, breast, and pancreas, as well as in osteoblast cells of bone and selected other cells of the bone marrow and cerebellum with some cells showing a cytoplasmic localization and others a nuclear localization. All cells of the kidney display negative staining for this protein. Interestingly, a stage specific expression of TIEG protein is found in a dozen breast cancer biopsies, using immunohistochemistry. The cells in normal breast epithelium displays a high expression of TIEG protein, those in the in situ carcinoma display less than one-half of the levels, and those in the invasive carcinoma show a complete absence of the TIEG protein. TIEG has been localized to chromosome 8q22.2 locus, the same locus as the genes involved in osteopetrosis and acute myeloid leukemia and close to the c-myc gene locus and a locus of high polymorphism in cancer biopsies. The correlation between the levels of TIEG protein and the stage of breast cancer, its prime location in human chromosome 8q22.2, and past studies with pancreatic carcinoma, suggests that TIEG may play a role in tumor suppressor gene activities, apoptosis, or some other regulatory function of cell cycle regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cellular biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998


  • Breast cancer stage
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Osteoblasts
  • Rapid regulation
  • TGF-β
  • Transcription factor
  • Tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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