Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has a faster rate of metastasis compared to other breast cancer subtypes and no effective targeted therapies are currently FDA-approved. Recent data indicate that the androgen receptor (AR) promotes tumor survival and may serve as a potential therapeutic target in TNBC. Studies of AR in disease progression and the systemic effects of anti-androgens have been hindered by the lack of an AR-positive (AR+) immunocompetent preclinical model. In this study we identified the transgenic MMTV-PyMT (mouse mammary tumor virus-polyoma middle tumor antigen) mouse mammary gland carcinoma model of breast cancer and Met-1 cells derived from this model as tools to study the role of AR in breast cancer progression. AR protein expression was examined in late-stage primary tumors and lung metastases from MMTV-PyMT mice as well as in Met-1 cells by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Sensitivity of Met-1 cells to the AR agonist dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and anti-androgen therapy was examined using cell viability, migration/invasion, and anchorage-independent growth assays. Late-stage primary tumors and lung metastases from MMTV-PyMT mice and Met-1 cells expressed abundant nuclear AR protein, while negative for estrogen and progesterone receptors. Met-1 sensitivity to DHT and AR antagonists demonstrated a reliance on AR for survival, and AR antagonists inhibited invasion and anchorage-independent growth. These data suggest that the MMTV-PyMT model and Met-1 cells may serve as valuable tools for mechanistic studies of the role of AR in disease progression and how anti-androgens affect the tumor microenvironment.

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© 2017 Springer International Publishing. Article first published online 2017 April.

DOI: 10.1007/s12672-017-0285-6

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Christenson, Jessica L., Kiel T. Butterfield, Nicole S. Spoelstra, John D. Norris, Jatinder S. Josan, Julie A. Pollock, Donald P. McDonnell, Benita S. Katzenellenbogen, John A. Katzenellenbogen, and Jennifer K. Richer. "MMTV-PyMT and derived Met-1 mouse mammary tumor cells as models for studying the role of the androgen receptor in triple-negative breast cancer progression." Hormones and Cancer 8, no.2 (April 2017): 69-77. doi:10.1007/s12672-017-0285-6.

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