Morbidity and mortality of breast cancer patients are drastically increased when primary tumor cells are able to spread to distant sites and proliferate to become secondary lesions. Effective treatment of metastatic disease has been limited; therefore, an increased molecular understanding to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets is needed. Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) suppresses development of pulmonary metastases when expressed in a variety of cancer types, including metastatic mammary carcinoma. Little is known of Brms1 function throughout the initiation and progression of mammary carcinoma. The goal of this study was to investigate mechanisms of Brms1-mediated metastasis suppression in transgenic mice that express Brms1 using polyoma middle T oncogene-induced models. Brms1 expression did not significantly alter growth of the primary tumors. When expressed ubiquitously using a β-actin promoter, Brms1 suppressed pulmonary metastasis and promoted apoptosis of tumor cells located in the lungs but not in the mammary glands. Surprisingly, selective expression of Brms1 in the mammary gland using the MMTV promoter did not significantly block metastasis nor did it promote apoptosis in the mammary glands or lung, despite MMTV-induced expression within the lungs. These results strongly suggest that cell type-specific over-expression of Brms1 is important for Brms1-mediated metastasis suppression. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.