ErbB-inhibitory protein: a modified ectodomain of epidermal growth factor receptor synergizes with dasatinib to inhibit growth of breast cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Many solid tumors, including breast cancer, show increased activation of several growth factor receptors, specifically epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its family members as well as c-Src, a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase that promotes proliferation, inhibits apoptosis, and induces metastasis. We hypothesize that inhibition of c-Src and EGFRs will be an effective therapeutic strategy for triple-negative breast cancer. To test our hypothesis, we used a c-Src-specific inhibitor dasatinib (BMS-354825; Bristol-Myers Squibb) and our newly developed ErbB-inhibitory protein (EBIP), a potential pan-ErbB inhibitor, in breast cancer cells. EBIP is composed of 1 to 448 amino acids of the ectodomain of human EGFR to which the 30-amino acid epitope (known as "U" region) of rat EGFR-related protein is fused at the COOH-terminal end. The combination of dasatinib and EBIP was found to be highly effective in inhibiting the growth of four different breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-468, SKBr-3, MDA-MB-453, and MDA-MB-231) that express different levels of EGFRs. In EGFR-overexpressing MDA-MB-468 cells, the combination, but not monotherapy, markedly stimulated apoptosis mediated by caspase-9 and caspase-8 and attenuated activation of EGFR and Src as well as tyrosine kinase activity. EBIP also inhibited heregulin-induced activation of HER-2 and HER-3 in MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells. The combination therapy was highly effective in suppressing tumor growth ( approximately 90% inhibition) in MDA-MB-468-derived xenografts in severe combined immunodeficient mice. The latter could be attributed to induction of apoptosis. We conclude that combining dasatinib and EBIP could be an effective therapeutic strategy for breast cancer by targeting EGFRs and Src signaling.
Project description:BACKGROUND:At least 50% of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, which paved the way for clinical trials investigating its blockade. Outcomes remained dismal stemming from mechanisms of resistance particularly the nuclear cycling of EGFR, which is enhanced by Src activation. Attenuation of Src reversed nuclear translocation, restoring EGFR to the cell surface. Herein, we hypothesize that changes in cellular distribution of EGFR upon Src inhibition with dasatinib can be annotated through the EGFR immunopositron emission tomography (immunoPET) radiotracer, [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab. METHODS:Nuclear and non-nuclear EGFR levels of dasatinib-treated vs. untreated MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells were analyzed via immunoblots. Both treated and untreated cells were exposed to [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to assess binding at 4?°C and 37?°C. EGFR-positive MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and a patient-derived xenograft were treated with dasatinib or vehicle followed by cetuximab PET imaging to compare EGFR levels. After imaging, the treated mice were separated into two groups: one cohort continued with dasatinib with the addition of cetuximab while the other cohort received dasatinib alone. Correlations between the radiotracer uptake vs. changes in tumor growth and EGFR expression from immunoblots were analyzed. RESULTS:Treated cells displayed higher binding of [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to the cell membrane at 4?°C and with greater internalized activity at 37?°C vs. untreated cells. In all tumor models, higher accumulation of the radiotracer in dasatinib-treated groups was observed compared to untreated tumors. Treated tumors displayed significantly decreased pSrc (Y416) with retained total Src levels compared to control. In MDA-MB-468 and PDX tumors, the analysis of cetuximab PET vs. changes in tumor volume showed an inverse relationship where high tracer uptake in the tumor demonstrated minimal tumor volume progression. Furthermore, combined cetuximab and dasatinib treatment showed better tumor regression compared to control and dasatinib-only-treated groups. No benefit was achieved in MDA-MB-231 xenografts with the addition of cetuximab, likely due to its KRAS-mutated status. CONCLUSIONS:Cetuximab PET can monitor effects of dasatinib on EGFR cellular distribution and potentially inform treatment response in wild-type KRAS TNBC.
Project description:The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) is a ubiquitously expressed receptor tyrosine kinase that regulates diverse cell functions that are dependent upon cell type, the presence of downstream effectors, and receptor density. In addition to activating biochemical pathways, ligand stimulation causes the EGFR to enter the cell via clathrin-coated pits. Endocytic trafficking influences receptor signaling by controlling the duration of EGFR phosphorylation and coordinating the receptor's association with downstream effectors. To better understand the individual contributions of cell surface and cytosolic EGFRs on cell physiology, we used EGF that was conjugated to 900 nm polystyrene beads (EGF-beads). EGF-beads can stimulate the EGFR and retain the activated receptor at the plasma membrane. In MDA-MB-468 cells, a breast cancer cell line that over-expresses the EGFR, only internalized, activated EGFRs stimulate caspase-3 and induce cell death. Conversely, signaling cascades triggered from activated EGFR retained at the cell surface inhibit caspase-3 and promote cell proliferation. Thus, through endocytosis, the activated EGFR can differentially regulate cell growth in MDA-MB-468 cells.
Project description:Metastatic disease is largely resistant to therapy and accounts for almost all cancer deaths. Myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1) is an important regulator of cell survival and chemo-resistance in a wide range of malignancies, and thus its inhibition may prove to be therapeutically useful.To examine whether targeting MCL-1 may provide an effective treatment for breast cancer, we constructed inducible models of BIMs2A expression (a specific MCL-1 inhibitor) in MDA-MB-468 (MDA-MB-468-2A) and MDA-MB-231 (MDA-MB-231-2A) cells.MCL-1 inhibition caused apoptosis of basal-like MDA-MB-468-2A cells grown as monolayers, and sensitized them to the BCL-2/BCL-XL inhibitor ABT-263, demonstrating that MCL-1 regulated cell survival. In MDA-MB-231-2A cells, grown in an organotypic model, induction of BIMs2A produced an almost complete suppression of invasion. Apoptosis was induced in such a small proportion of these cells that it could not account for the large decrease in invasion, suggesting that MCL-1 was operating via a previously undetected mechanism. MCL-1 antagonism also suppressed local invasion and distant metastasis to the lung in mouse mammary intraductal xenografts. Kinomic profiling revealed that MCL-1 antagonism modulated Src family kinases and their targets, which suggested that MCL-1 might act as an upstream modulator of invasion via this pathway. Inhibition of MCL-1 in combination with dasatinib suppressed invasion in 3D models of invasion and inhibited the establishment of tumors in vivo.These data provide the first evidence that MCL-1 drives breast cancer cell invasion and suggests that MCL-1 antagonists could be used alone or in combination with drugs targeting Src kinases such as dasatinib to suppress metastasis.
Project description:All-trans-retinoic acid (RA), the active metabolite of vitamin A, can reduce the malignant phenotype in some types of cancer and paradoxically also can promote cancer growth and invasion in others. For instance, it has been reported that RA induces tumor suppression in tumor xenografts of MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells while increasing tumor growth and metastases in xenografts of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. The signaling pathways involved in the pro-invasive action of retinoic acid remain mostly unknown. We show here that RA activates the pro-invasive axis Src-YAP-Interleukin 6 (Src-YAP-IL6) in triple negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, yielding to increased invasion of these cells. On the contrary, RA inhibits the Src-YAP-IL6 axis of triple-negative MDA-MB-468 cells, which results in decreased invasion phenotype. In both types of cells, inhibition of the Src-YAP-IL6 axis by the Src inhibitor PP2 drastically reduces migration and invasion. Src inhibition also downregulates the expression of a pro-invasive isoform of VEGFR1 in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Furthermore, interference of YAP nuclear translocation using the statin cerivastatin reverses the upregulation of Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and the pro-invasive effect of RA on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and also decreases invasion and viability of MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells. These results altogether suggest that RA induces pro-invasive or anti-invasive actions in two triple-negative breast cancer cell lines due to its ability to activate or inhibit the Src-YAP-IL6 axis in different cancer cells. The pro-invasive effect of RA can be reversed by the statin cerivastatin.
Project description:In pre-clinical studies, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells have demonstrated sensitivity to the multi-targeted kinase inhibitor dasatinib; however, clinical trials with single-agent dasatinib showed limited efficacy in unselected populations of breast cancer, including TNBC. To study potential mechanisms of resistance to dasatinib in TNBC, we established a cell line model of acquired dasatinib resistance (231-DasB). Following an approximately three-month exposure to incrementally increasing concentrations of dasatinib (200 nM to 500 nM) dasatinib, 231-DasB cells were resistant to the agent with a dasatinib IC50 value greater than 5 ?M compared to 0.04 ± 0.001 µM in the parental MDA-MB-231 cells. 231-DasB cells also showed resistance (2.2-fold) to the Src kinase inhibitor PD180970. Treatment of 231-DasB cells with dasatinib did not inhibit phosphorylation of Src kinase. The 231-DasB cells also had significantly increased levels of p-Met compared to the parental MDA-MB-231 cells, as measured by luminex, and resistant cells demonstrated a significant increase in sensitivity to the c-Met inhibitor, CpdA, with an IC50 value of 1.4 ± 0.5 µM compared to an IC50 of 6.8 ± 0.2 µM in the parental MDA-MB-231 cells. Treatment with CpdA decreased p-Met and p-Src in both 231-DasB and MDA-MB-231 cells. Combined treatment with dasatinib and CpdA significantly inhibited the growth of MDA-MB-231 parental cells and prevented the emergence of dasatinib resistance. If these in vitro findings can be extrapolated to human cancer treatment, combined treatment with dasatinib and a c-Met inhibitor may block the development of acquired resistance and improve response rates to dasatinib treatment in TNBC.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulator, may affect cancer cell survival through mechanisms other than ER antagonism. In the present study, we tested the efficacy of tamoxifen in a panel of ER-negative breast cancer cell lines and examined the drug mechanism. METHODS: In total, five ER-negative breast cancer cell lines (HCC-1937, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-453 and SK-BR-3) were used for in vitro studies. Cellular apoptosis was examined by flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. Signal transduction pathways in cells were assessed by Western blot analysis. The in vivo efficacy of tamoxifen was tested in xenograft nude mice. RESULTS: Tamoxifen induced significant apoptosis in MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-453 and SK-BR-3 cells, but not in HCC-1937 cells. Tamoxifen-induced apoptosis was associated with inhibition of cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) and phospho-Akt (p-Akt) in a dose-dependent manner. Ectopic expression of either CIP2A or Akt protected MDA-MB-231 cells from tamoxifen-induced apoptosis. In addition, tamoxifen increased protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity, and tamoxifen-induced apoptosis was attenuated by the PP2A antagonist okadaic acid in the sensitive cell lines, but not in resistant HCC-1937 cells. Moreover, silencing CIP2A by small interfering RNA sensitized HCC-1937 cells to tamoxifen-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, tamoxifen regulated CIP2A protein expression by downregulating CIP2A mRNA. Importantly, tamoxifen inhibited the in vivo growth of MDA-MB-468 xenograft tumors in association with CIP2A downregulation, whereas tamoxifen had no significant effect on CIP2A expression and anti-tumor growth in HCC-1937 tumors. CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of CIP2A determines the effects of tamoxifen-induced apoptosis in ER-negative breast cancer cells. Our data suggest a novel "off-target" mechanism of tamoxifen and suggest that CIP2A/PP2A/p-Akt signaling may be a feasible anti-cancer pathway.
Project description:Breast cancer cell invasion is influenced by growth factor concentration gradients in the tumor microenvironment. However, studying the influence of growth factor gradients on breast cancer cell invasion is challenging due to both the complexities of in vivo models and the difficulties in recapitulating the tumor microenvironment with defined gradients using in vitro models. A defined hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel crosslinked with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) cleavable peptides and modified with multiphoton labile nitrodibenzofuran (NDBF) was synthesized to photochemically immobilize epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients. We demonstrate that EGF gradients can differentially influence breast cancer cell invasion and drug response in cell lines with different EGF receptor (EGFR) expression levels. Photopatterned EGF gradients increase the invasion of moderate EGFR expressing MDA-MB-231?cells, reduce invasion of high EGFR expressing MDA-MB-468?cells, and have no effect on invasion of low EGFR-expressing MCF-7?cells. We evaluate MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468?cell response to the clinically tested EGFR inhibitor, cetuximab. Interestingly, the cellular response to cetuximab is completely different on the EGF gradient hydrogels: cetuximab decreases MDA-MB-231?cell invasion but increases MDA-MB-468?cell invasion and cell number, thus demonstrating the importance of including cell-microenvironment interactions when evaluating drug targets.
Project description:Src family kinases control multiple cancer cell properties including cell cycle progression, survival, and metastasis. Recent studies suggest that the Src inhibitor dasatinib blocks these critical cancer cell functions.Because the molecular mechanism of action of dasatinib in breast cancers has not been investigated, we evaluated the effects of dasatinib as a single agent and in combination with the commonly used chemotherapeutic doxorubicin, on the proliferation, viability, and invasive capacity of breast cancer cells lines earlier categorised as dasatinib-sensitive (MDA-MB-231) and moderately resistant (MCF7 and T47D). We also tested the effects of these drugs on the actin cytoskeleton and associated signalling pathways.The cell lines tested varied widely in sensitivity to growth inhibition (IC(50)=0.16-12.3 microM), despite comparable Src kinase inhibition by dasatinib (IC(50)=17-37 nM). In the most sensitive cell line, MDA-MB-231, dasatinib treatment induced significant G(1) accumulation with little apoptosis, disrupted cellular morphology, blocked migration, inhibited invasion through Matrigel (P<0.01), and blocked the formation of invadopodia (P<0.001). Importantly, combination treatment with doxorubicin resulted in synergistic growth inhibition in all cell lines and blocked the migration and invasion of the highly metastatic, triple-negative MDA-MB-231 cell line.The observed synergy between dasatinib and doxorubicin warrants the re-evaluation of dasatinib as an effective agent in multi-drug regimens for the treatment of invasive breast cancers.
Project description:Cancer cell membrane proteins are released into the plasma/serum by exterior protein cleavage, membrane sloughing, cellular secretion or cell lysis, and represent promising candidates for interrogation. Because many known disease biomarkers are both glycoproteins and membrane bound, we chose the hydrazide method to specifically target, enrich, and identify glycosylated proteins from breast cancer cell membrane fractions using the LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Our initial goal was to select membrane proteins from breast cancer cell lines and then to use the hydrazide method to identify the N-linked proteome as a prelude to evaluation of plasma/serum proteins from cancer patients. A combination of steps facilitated identification of the glycopeptides and also defined the glycosylation sites. In MCF-7, MDA-MB-453 and MDA-MB-468 cell membrane fractions, use of the hydrazide method facilitated an initial enrichment and site mapping of 27 N-linked glycosylation sites in 25 different proteins. However, only three N-linked glycosylated proteins, galectin-3 binding protein, lysosome associated membrane glycoprotein 1, and oxygen regulated protein, were identified in all three breast cancer cell lines. In addition, MCF-7 cells shared an additional 3 proteins with MDA-MB-453. Interestingly, the hydrazide method isolated a number of other N-linked glycoproteins also known to be involved in breast cancer, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), CD44, and the breast cancer 1, and early onset isoform 1 (BRCA1) biomarker. Analyzing the N-glycoproteins from membranes of breast cancer cell lines highlights the usefulness of the procedure for generating a practical set of potential biomarkers.