RNA interference-based functional dissection of the 17q12 amplicon in breast cancer reveals contribution of coamplified genes.
ABSTRACT DNA amplification is a frequent occurrence in cancer genomes. While tumor amplicons may harbor known oncogenes "driving" amplification, amplicons rarely comprise only single genes. The potential functional contribution of coamplified genes remains largely unexplored. In breast cancer, 20-30% of tumors exhibit amplification within chromosome band 17q12, containing the ERBB2 oncogene. Analysis of array-based comparative genomic hybridization and expression profiling data indicate that the minimum region of recurrent amplification (i.e., the amplicon "core") at 17q12 includes two other genes, GRB7 and STARD3, which exhibit elevated expression when amplified. Western blot analysis confirms overexpression of each at the protein level in breast cancer cell lines SKBR3 and BT474 harboring amplification. In these cell lines (but not in control MCF7 breast cancer cells lacking 17q12 amplification), targeted knockdown of ERBB2 expression using RNA interference (RNAi) methods results in decreased cell proliferation, decreased cell-cycle progression, and increased apoptosis. Notably, targeted knockdown of either GRB7 or STARD3 also leads to decreased cell proliferation and cell-cycle progression, albeit to a lesser extent compared with ERBB2 knockdown. We conclude that the amplification and resultant overexpression of genes coamplified with ERBB2 at 17q12 can contribute to proliferation levels of breast cancer cells. Our findings validate the utility of RNAi in the functional interrogation of tumor amplicons, and provide evidence for a contribution of coamplified genes to tumor phenotypes.
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ABSTRACT: ErbB2 (v-erb-b2 avian erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2), a receptor tyrosine kinase of the ErbB family, is overexpressed in around 25% of breast cancers. In addition to forming a heterodimer with other ErbB receptors in response to ligand stimulation, ErbB2 can be activated in a ligand-independent manner. We report here that Erbin, an ErbB2-interacting protein that was thought to act as an antitumor factor, is specifically expressed in mammary luminal epithelial cells and facilitates ErbB2-dependent proliferation of breast cancer cells and tumorigenesis in MMTV-neu transgenic mice. Disruption of their interaction decreases ErbB2-dependent proliferation, and deletion of the PDZ domain in Erbin hinders ErbB2-dependent tumor development in MMTV-neu mice. Mechanistically, Erbin forms a complex with ErbB2, promotes its interaction with the chaperon protein HSP90, and thus prevents its degradation. Finally, ErbB2 and Erbin expression correlates in human breast tumor tissues. Together, these observations establish Erbin as an ErbB2 regulator for breast tumor formation and progression.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The early steps of mammary tumorigenesis include loss of epithelial cell polarity, escape from anoikis, and acquisition of proliferative capacity under various biochemical and physical stresses. The genes responsible for these processes are predicted to be early diagnostic markers or new therapeutic targets. Here we tested 51 genes coamplified with ERBB2 in the 17q12–21 amplicon for these tumorigenic activities using an MCF10A three-dimensional (3D) culture-based screening system. We found that overexpression of retinoic acid receptor α (RARA) disrupted normal acinar structure in Matrigel-based 3D cultures. Furthermore, its coexpression with an active mutant of ERBB2 (ERBB2V659E) enhanced the disruption of acinar morphogenesis. More interestingly, in Matrigel cultures supplemented with collagen I, the RARA-expressing cells developed invasive structures in a manner dependent on its transcriptional activation domain. RARA overexpression alone induced a typical epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype with fibroblastic morphology and molecular marker alterations. Consistently, the mRNA levels of known EMT-inducing factors, including SLUG, FOXC2, ZEB1, and ZEB2, were significantly increased upon RARA overexpression. Knockdown of ZEB1 suppressed the RARA-mediated EMT phenotype. In conclusion, these results suggest that overexpression of RARA enhances malignant transformation during mammary tumorigenesis, and thus is a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.Molecular Oncology 09/2014; 9(2). · 5.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer genomes maintain a complex array of somatic alterations required for maintenance and progression of the disease, posing a challenge to identify driver genes amongst this genetic disorder. Toward this end, we mapped regions of recurrent amplification in a large collection (n=392) of primary human cancers and selected 620 genes whose expression is elevated in tumors. An RNAi loss-of-function screen targeting these genes across a panel of 32 cancer cell lines identified potential driver genes. Subsequent functional assays identified SHMT2, a key enzyme in the serine/glycine synthesis pathway, as necessary for tumor cell survival but insufficient for transformation. The 26S proteasomal subunit, PSMB4, was identified as the first proteasomal subunit with oncogenic properties promoting cancer cell survival and tumor growth in vivo. Elevated expression of SHMT2 and PSMB4 was found to be associated with poor prognosis in human cancer supporting the development of molecular therapies targeting these genes or components of their pathways.Cancer Research 04/2014; 74(11). · 9.28 Impact Factor