Functional analysis of altered Tenascin isoform expression in breast cancer

Background: Cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) control many aspects of cell function. The complex ECM protein Tenascin-C (TN), which exists as multiple isoforms, is upregulated in breast cancer. We previously have identified a change in the TN isoform profile in breast cancer, with detection of two additional isoforms — TN16 and TN14/16 — not seen in normal breast [1]. The purpose of this study was to investigate directly the effects of these tumour-associated TNC isoforms on breast cancer cell behaviour.