HER3 signaling is regulated through a multitude of redundant mechanisms in HER2-driven tumor cells

Department of Medicine and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, U.S.A.
Biochemical Journal (Impact Factor: 4.4). 08/2012; 447(3):417-25. DOI: 10.1042/BJ20120724
Source: PubMed


HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2)-amplified tumours are characterized by constitutive signalling via the HER2-HER3 co-receptor complex. Although phosphorylation activity is driven entirely by the HER2 kinase, signal volume generated by the complex is under the control of HER3, and a large capacity to increase its signalling output accounts for the resiliency of the HER2-HER3 tumour driver and accounts for the limited efficacies of anti-cancer drugs designed to target it. In the present paper we describe deeper insights into the dynamic nature of HER3 signalling. Signalling output by HER3 is under several modes of regulation, including transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational, post-translational and localizational control. These redundant mechanisms can each increase HER3 signalling output and are engaged in various degrees depending on how the HER3/PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)/Akt/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling network is disturbed. The highly dynamic nature of HER3 expression and signalling, and the plurality of downstream elements and redundant mechanisms that function to ensure HER3 signalling throughput identify HER3 as a major signalling hub in HER2-amplified cancers and a highly resourceful guardian of tumorigenic signalling in these tumours.

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