HER-2 signaling and inhibition in breast cancer.
ABSTRACT Amplification of the HER-2 gene occurs in approximately 25% of breast cancers, causing up-regulation of key signaling pathways which control cell growth and survival. In breast cancer patients, HER-2 overexpression correlates with an aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis. HER-2, therefore, has become the focus of many anti-cancer therapeutic approaches. Trastuzumab (Herceptin), a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against the extracellular domain of HER-2, was the first FDA-approved HER-2-targeted therapy for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. However, not all HER-2-overexpressing patients respond to trastuzumab and most that initially respond develop resistance within one year of treatment. Trastuzumab resistance has been studied in cell line models of resistance and several mechanisms of resistance have been proposed. More recent anti-HER-2 strategies involve targeting its tyrosine kinase domain; for example, lapatinib (Tykerb) is a dual HER-2 and EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor and has shown efficacy as a single agent and in combination with other therapeutics. A number of novel HER-2 antagonists are currently in preclinical or clinical development, including both monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors. Increased understanding of HER-2 signaling in breast cancer, and of response and resistance to HER-2 antagonists, will aid the development of strategies to overcome resistance to HER-2 targeted therapies.
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ABSTRACT: Asparagine-linked glycosylation is an endoplasmic reticulum co- and post- translational modification that enables the transit and function of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) glycoproteins. To gain insight into the regulatory role of glycosylation enzymes on RTK function, we investigated shRNA and siRNA knockdown of mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI), an enzyme required for mature glycan precursor biosynthesis. Loss of MPI activity reduced phosphorylation of FGFR family receptors in U-251 and SKMG-3 malignant glioma cell lines and also resulted in significant decreases in FRS2, Akt, and MAPK signaling. However, MPI knockdown did not affect ligand-induced activation or signaling of EGFR or MET RTKs, suggesting that FGFRs are more susceptible to MPI inhibition. The reductions in FGFR signaling were not caused by loss of FGF ligands or receptors, but instead were caused by interference with receptor dimerization. Investigations into the cellular consequences of MPI knockdown showed that cellular programs driven by FGFR signaling, and integral to the clinical progression of malignant glioma, were impaired. In addition to a blockade of cellular migration, MPI knockdown also significantly reduced glioma cell clonogenic survival following ionizing radiation. Therefore our results suggest that targeted inhibition of enzymes required for cell surface receptor glycosylation can be manipulated to produce discrete and limited consequences for critical client glycoproteins expressed by tumor cells. Furthermore, this work identifies MPI as a potential enzymatic target for disrupting cell surface receptor-dependent survival signaling and as a novel approach for therapeutic radiosensitization.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e110345. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110345 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Intrinsic and acquired resistance to HER-targeting drugs occurs in a significant proportion of HER2-overexpressing breast cancers. Thus, there remains a need to identify predictive biomarkers that could improve patient selection and circumvent these types of drug resistance. Here we report the identification of neuromedin U (NmU) as an extracellular biomarker in cells resistant to HER-targeted drugs. NmU overexpression occurred in cells with acquired or innate resistance to lapatinib, trastuzumab, neratinib, afatinib, all all of which displayed a similar trend and suggested NmU induction may be an early response. An analysis of 3489 cases of breast cancer showed NmU to be associated with poor patient outcomes, particularly those with HER2-overexpressing tumors independent of established prognostic indicators. Ectopic overexpressino of NmU in drug-sensitive cells conferred resistance to all HER-targeting drugs, whereas RNAi-mediated attentuation sensitized cells exhibiting acquired or innate drug resistance. Mechanistic investigations suggested that NmU acted through HSP27 as partner protein to stabilize HER2 protein levels. We also obtained evidence of functional NmU receptors on HER2-overexpressing cells, with the addition of exogenous NmU eliciting an elevation in HER2 and EGFR expression along with drug resistance. Lastly, we found that NmU appeared to function in cell motility, invasion and anoikis resistance. In vivo studies revealed that NmU attenuation impaired tumor growth and metastasis. Taken together, our results defined NmU as a candidate drug response biomarker for HER2-overexpressing cancers, and a candidate therapeutic target to limit metastatic progression and improve the efficacy of HER-targeted drugs.Cancer Research 05/2014; 74(14). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2053 · 9.28 Impact Factor