MAT1 is a novel transforming gene which was cloned from a mouse mammary tumor induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea in vitro in the presence of lithium as a mitogen. Later, it was found to be identical to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the 2.5 kb isoform of PEA-15 (phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes-15 kDa). We re-cloned MAT1/PEA-15 cDNAs and showed 2.5, 2.0 and 1.8 kb isoforms and confirmed MAT1 localization as reported. The 2.0 and 1.8 kb isoforms were produced by alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation at the 3' UTR, respectively. To analyze the role of MAT1/PEA- 15, we examined the expression of MAT1/PEA-15 mRNA in normal mammary tissues and in mammary tumors. The mammary gland during pregnancy, lactation and weaning showed weak but stable expression. Compared with normal mammary gland, mammary tumors showed stronger expression. Aberrant expression of MAT1/PEA-15 isoforms was found in mouse mammary epithelial cell lines, FSK7 and TM6, which lost the 2.5/2.0 and 2.5 kb isoforms, respectively. In contrast to other oncogenes like c-myc, MAT1/PEA-15 mRNA was extremely stable after actinomycin D and cycloheximide treatments suggesting that other protein expression is prerequisite for degradation of MAT1/PEA-15 mRNA. It evoked the possibility of the 3' UTR of MAT1/PEA-15 (designated as MAT1-T) as a riboregulator in mammary tumorigenesis and necessity for further analysis of human breast cancers as well as mouse mammary tumors. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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