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Breast cancer metastasis alters acetylcholinesterase activity and the composition of enzyme forms in axillary lymph nodes

, : Breast cancer metastasis alters acetylcholinesterase activity and the composition of enzyme forms in axillary lymph nodes. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 80(1): 105-114

Because of the probable involvement of cholinesterases (ChEs) in tumorigenesis, this research was addressed to ascertaining whether breast cancer metastasis alters the content of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and/or butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) in axillary lymph nodes (LN). ChE activity was assayed in nine normal (NLN) and seven metastasis-bearing nodes (MLN) from women. AChE and BuChE forms were characterised by sedimentation analyses, hydrophobic chromatography and western blotting. The origin of ChEs in LN was studied by lectin interaction. AChE activity dropped from 21.6 mU/mg (nmol of the substrate hydrolysed per minute and per milligram protein) in NLN to 3.8 mU/mg in MLN (p < 0.001), while BuChE activity (3.6 mU/mg) was little affected. NLN contained globular amphiphilic AChE dimers (G2A, 35%), monomers (G1A, 30%), hydrophilic tetramers (G4H, 8%), and asymmetric species (A4, 23%, and A8, 4%); MLN displayed only G2A (65%) and G1A (35%) AChE forms. NLN and MLN contained G4H (79%), G4A (7%), and G1H (14%) BuChE components. Neither the binding of ChE forms with lectins and antibodies nor the subunit size were altered by metastasis. The higher level of AChE in NLN than in brain and the specific pattern of AChE forms in NLN support its role in immunity. The different profile of AChE forms in NLN and MLN may be useful for diagnosis.


PMID: 12889604

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024461108704

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