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Transcription profiling by array of human MCF7 cell lines to investigate GDNF-RET signaling as a target in aromatase inhibitor resistant breast cancers

ABSTRACT: Understanding the complex molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to endocrine therapy is a major challenge in the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers. We have previously demonstrated that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signaling via the receptor tyrosine kinase RET promotes estrogen independent activation of ER. Here we have addressed the relevance of GDNF-RET signaling in response to aromatase inhibitor treatment and explored the efficacy of using RET inhibitors in breast cancer models of aromatase inhibitor response and resistance. A GDNF-response gene set, identified from gene expression profiling, was demonstrated to be an independent prognostic marker of poor patient outcome and, importantly, to be predictive of poor response to aromatase inhibitor treatment and development of resistance. The relevance of these findings was validated first by demonstrating an association of RET protein expression in an independent cohort of aromatase inhibitor resistant patient samples. Second, in in vitro models, GDNF-mediated RET signaling was demonstrated to enhance the survival of aromatase inhibitor resistant cells and to increase resistance in aromatase inhibitor sensitive cells. These effects could be reversed by targeting GDNF/RET signaling with the RET selective inhibitor NVP-BBT594 thus identifying GDNF-RET signaling as a potential therapeutic target, particularly in breast cancers resistant to aromatase inhibitors.
MCF7 cells were E2-deprived by culturing in phenol red-free RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% DCC for 3 days and then serum-starved overnight in the presence or absence of fulvestrant (ICI182,780) (100 nM). The following day, cells were treated with GDNF (20 ng/ml) for 0, 4, 8, 24 and 48 hours in the presence or absence of fulvestrant (ICI182,780) (100 nM).

ORGANISM(S): Homo sapiens  

SUBMITTER: Alan G Mackay  

PROVIDER: E-MEXP-3662 | ArrayExpress | 2013-01-17


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