Amy J Aldrich

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (3)14.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although there is no standard treatment protocol for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), multi-modality treatment has improved survival. In this study we profiled the NCI approved oncology drug set in a qHTS format to identify those that are efficacious in basal type and ErbB2 overexpressing IBC models. Further, we characterized the sensitivity of an acquired therapeutic resistance model to the oncology drugs. We observed that lapatinib-induced acquired resistance in SUM149 cells led to cross-resistance to other targeted- and chemotherapeutic drugs. Removal of the primary drug to which the model was developed led to re-sensitization to multiple drugs to a degree comparable to the parental cell line; this coincided with the cells regaining the ability to accumulate ROS and reducing expression of anti-apoptotic factors and the antioxidant SOD2. We suggest that our findings provide a unique IBC model system for gaining an understanding of acquired therapeutic resistance and the effect of redox adaptation on anti-cancer drug efficacy.
    Cancer letters 05/2013; · 5.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The forkhead transcription factor FOXP3 is necessary for induction of regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) and their immunosuppressive function. We have previously demonstrated that targeting Tregs by vaccination of mice with murine FOXP3 mRNA-transfected dendritic cells (DCs) elicits FOXP3-specific T cell responses and enhances tumor immunity. It is clear that FOXP3 expression is not restricted to T-cell lineage and herein, using RT-PCR, flow cytometry, and western immunoblot we demonstrate for the first time that FOXP3 is expressed in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells, SUM149 (triple negative, ErbB1-activated) and SUM190 (ErbB2-overexpressing). Importantly, FOXP3-specific T cells generated in vitro using human FOXP3 RNA-transfected DCs as stimulators efficiently lyse SUM149 cells. Interestingly, an isogenic model (rSUM149) derived from SUM149 with an enhanced anti-apoptotic phenotype was resistant to FOXP3-specific T cell mediated lysis. The MHC class I cellular processing mechanism was intact in both cell lines at the protein and transcription levels suggesting that the resistance to cytolysis by rSUM149 cells was not related to MHC class I expression or to the MHC class I antigen processing machinery in these cells. Our data suggest that FOXP3 may be an effective tumor target in IBC cells however increased anti-apoptotic signaling can lead to immune evasion.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53150. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently identified superoxide dismutase (SOD) overexpression and decreased induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated apoptosis in models of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells with acquired therapeutic resistance. This population of cells has high expression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), which inhibits both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways. We therefore wanted to evaluate the effect of classical apoptosis-inducing agent TRAIL, a proapoptotic receptor agonist that selectively triggers death receptor (DR)-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells, in the IBC acquired resistance model. XIAP levels and subsequent inhibition of caspase activity inversely correlated with TRAIL sensitivity in our models of IBC. These include SUM149, a basal-type cell line isolated from primary IBC tumors and isogenic SUM149-derived lines rSUM149 and SUM149 wtXIAP, models of acquired therapeutic resistance with endogenous and exogenous XIAP overexpression, respectively. Inhibition of XIAP function using embelin, a plant-derived cell permeable small molecule, in combination with TRAIL caused a synergistic decrease in cell viability. Embelin treatment resulted in activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and ROS accumulation, which correlated with downregulation of antioxidant protein SOD1 and consumption of redox modulator reduced glutathione in the XIAP-overexpressing cells. Simultaneous treatment with an SOD mimic, which protects against ROS accumulation, reversed the decrease in cell viability caused by embelin + TRAIL treatment. Embelin primes IBC cells for TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by its direct action on the anti-caspase activity of XIAP and by shifting the cellular redox balance toward oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis. Thus, ROS modulators represent a novel approach to enhance efficacy of TRAIL-based treatment protocols in IBC.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 04/2012; 11(7):1518-27. · 5.60 Impact Factor