Expression of NRG1 and its receptors in human bladder cancer.
ABSTRACT: Therapies targeting ERBB2 have shown success in the clinic. However, response is not determined solely by expression of ERBB2. Levels of ERBB3, its preferred heterodimerisation partner and ERBB ligands may also have a role.We measured NRG1 expression by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and ERBB receptors by western blotting and immunohistochemistry in bladder tumours and cell lines.NRG1? and NRG1? showed significant coordinate expression. NRG1? was upregulated in 78% of cell lines. In tumours, there was a greater range of expression with a trend towards increased NRG1? with higher stage and grade. Increased expression of ERBB proteins was detected in 15% (EGFR), 20% (ERBB2), 41% (ERBB3) and 0% (ERBB4) of cell lines. High EGFR expression was detected in 28% of tumours, associated with grade and stage (P=0.05; P=0.04). Moderate or high expression of ERBB2 was detected in 22% and was associated with stage (P=0.025). Cytoplasmic ERBB3 was associated with high tumour grade (P=0.01) and with ERBB2 positivity. In cell lines, NRG1? expression was significantly inversely related to ERBB3, but this was not confirmed in tumours.There is a wide spectrum of NRG1 and ERBB receptor expression in bladder cancer. In advanced tumours, EGFR, ERBB2 and ERBB3 upregulation is common and there is a relationship between expression of ERBB2 and ERBB3 but not the NRG1 ligand.
Project description:Recently, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR), a member of the ErbB receptor family, and its down-stream signalling have been identified as co-factors for HCV entry and replication. Since EGFR also functions as a heterodimer with other ErbB receptor family members, the subject of the present study was to investigate a possible viral interference with these cellular components. By using genotype 1b replicon cells as well as an infection-based system we found that while transcript and protein levels of EGFR and ErbB2 were up-regulated or unaffected, respectively, HCV induced a substantial reduction of ErbB3 and ErbB4 expression. Down-regulation of ErbB3 expression by HCV involves specificity protein (Sp)1-mediated induction of Neuregulin (NRG)1 expression as well as activation of Akt. Consistently, at transcript level disruption of ErbB3 expression by HCV can be prevented by knockdown of NRG1 or Sp1 expression, whereas reconstitution of ErbB3 protein levels requires inhibition of HCV-induced NRG1 expression and of Akt activity. Interestingly, the NRG1-mediated suppression of ErbB3 expression by HCV results in an enhanced expression of EGFR and ErbB2 on the cell surface, which can be mimicked by siRNA-mediated knockdown of ErbB3 expression. These data delineate a novel mechanism enabling HCV to sway the composition of the ErbB family members on the surface of its host cell by an NRG1-driven circuit and unravels a yet unknown cross-regulation between ErbB3 and the two other family members ErbB2 and EGFR. The shift of the receptor surface expression of the ErbB family towards enhanced expression of ErbB2 and EGFR triggered by HCV was found to promote viral RNA replication and infectivity. This suggests that HCV rearranges expression of ErbB family members to adapt the cellular environment to its requirements.
Project description:Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) accounts for 3-5% of all tumor types and remains an unmet medical need with only two targeted therapies approved to date. ErbB3 (HER3), the kinase-impaired member of the EGFR/ErbB family, has been implicated as a disease driver in a number of solid tumors, including a subset of HNSCC. Here we show that the molecular components required for ErbB3 activation, including its ligand neuregulin-1 (NRG1), are highly prevalent in HNSCC and that HER2, but not EGFR, is the major activating ErbB3 kinase partner. We demonstrate that cetuximab treatment primarily inhibits the ERK signaling pathway and KTN3379, an anti-ErbB3 monoclonal antibody, inhibits the AKT signaling pathway, and that dual ErbB receptor inhibition results in enhanced anti-tumor activity in HNSCC models. Surprisingly, we found that while NRG1 is required for ErbB3 activation, it was not sufficient to fully predict for KTN3379 activity. An evaluation of HNSCC patient samples demonstrated that NRG1 expression was significantly associated with expression of the EGFR ligands amphiregulin (AREG) and transforming growth factor ? (TGF?). Furthermore, NRG1-positive HNSCC cell lines that secreted high levels of AREG and TGF? or contained high levels of EGFR homodimers (H11D) demonstrated a better response to KTN3379. Although ErbB3 and EGFR activation are uncoupled at the receptor level, their respective signaling pathways are linked through co-expression of their respective ligands. We propose that NRG1 expression and EGFR activation signatures may enrich for improved efficacy of anti-ErbB3 therapeutic mAb approaches when combined with EGFR-targeting therapies in HNSCC.
Project description:As ErbB signaling is a determinant of prolactin synthesis, role of ErbB receptors was tested for prolactinoma outcomes and therapy. The objective of this study was to characterize ErbB receptor expression in prolactinomas and then perform a pilot study treating resistant prolactinomas with a targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Retrospective analysis of prolactinomas and pilot study for dopamine agonist resistant prolactinomas in tertiary referral center. We performed immunofluorescent staining of a tissue array of 29 resected prolactinoma tissues for EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 correlated with clinical features. Two patients with aggressive resistant prolactinomas enrolled and completed trial. They received lapatinib 1,250 mg daily for 6 months with tumor and hormone assessments. Main outcome measures were positive tumor staining of respective ErbB receptors, therapeutic reduction of prolactin levels and tumor shrinkage. Treated PRL levels and tumor volumes were suppressed in both subjects treated with TKI. EGFR expression was positive in 82 % of adenomas, ErbB2 in 92 %, ErbB3 in 25 %, and ErbB4 in 71 %, with ErbB2 score > EGFR > ErbB4 > ErbB3. Higher ErbB3 expression was associated with optic chiasm compression (p = 0.03), suprasellar extension (p = 0.04), and carotid artery encasement (p = 0.01). Higher DA response rates were observed in tumors with higher ErbB3 expression. Prolactinoma expression of specific ErbB receptors is associated with tumor invasion, symptoms, and response to dopamine agonists. Targeting ErbB receptors may be effective therapy in patients with resistant prolactinomas.
Project description:Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a growth factor produced by both peripheral nerves and skeletal muscle. In muscle, it regulates neuromuscular junction gene expression, acetylcholine receptor number, muscle homeostasis and satellite cell survival. NRG1 signalling is mediated by the tyrosine kinase receptors ErbB3 and ErbB4 and their co-receptors ErbB1 and ErbB2. The NRG1/ErbB system is well studied in nerve tissue after injury, but little is known about this system in skeletal muscle after denervation/reinnervation processes. Here, we performed a detailed time-course expression analysis of several NRG1 isoforms and ErbB receptors in the rat superficial digitorum flexor muscle after three types of median nerve injuries of different severities. We found that ErbB receptor expression was correlated with the innervated state of the muscle, with upregulation of ErbB2 clearly associated with the denervation state. Interestingly, the NRG1 isoforms were differently regulated depending on the nerve injury type, leading to the hypothesis that both the NRG1? and NRG1? isoforms play a key role in the muscle reaction to injury. Indeed, in vitro experiments with C2C12 atrophic myotubes revealed that both NRG1? and NRG1? treatment influences the best-known atrophic pathways, suggesting that NRG1 might play an anti-atrophic role.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is strongly implicated in glioblastoma (GBM) tumorigenesis. However, molecular agents targeting EGFR have demonstrated minimal efficacy in clinical trials, suggesting the existence of GBM resistance mechanisms. GBM cells with stem-like properties (CSCs) are highly efficient at tumor initiation and exhibit therapeutic resistance. In this study, GBMCSC lines showed sphere-forming and tumor initiation capacity after EGF withdrawal from cell culture media, compared with normal neural stem cells that rapidly perished after EGF withdrawal. Compensatory activation of related ERBB family receptors (ERBB2 and ERBB3) was observed in GBM CSCs deprived of EGFR signal (EGF deprivation or cetuximab inhibition), suggesting an intrinsic GBM resistance mechanism for EGFR-targeted therapy. Dual inhibition of EGFR and ERBB2 with lapatinib significantly reduced GBM proliferation in colony formation assays compared to cetuximab-mediated EGFR-specific inhibition. Phosphorylation of downstream ERBB signaling components (AKT, ERK1/2) and GBM CSC proliferation were inhibited by lapatinib. Collectively, these findings show that GBM therapeutic resistance to EGFR inhibitors may be explained by compensatory activation of EGFR-related family members (ERBB2, ERBB3) enabling GBM CSC proliferation, and therefore simultaneous blockade of multiple ERBB family members may be required for more efficacious GBM therapy.
Project description:Reciprocal interactions between glia and neurons are essential for the proper organization and function of the nervous system. Recently, the interaction between ErbB receptors (ErbB2 and ErbB3) on the surface of Schwann cells and neuronal Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) has emerged as the pivotal signal that controls Schwann cell development, association with axons, and myelination. To understand the function of NRG1-ErbB2/3 signaling axis in adult Schwann cell biology, we are studying the specific role of ErbB3 receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) since it is the receptor for NRG1 on the surface of Schwann cells. Here, we show that alternative transcription initiation results in the formation of a nuclear variant of ErbB3 (nuc-ErbB3) in rat primary Schwann cells. nuc-ErbB3 possesses a functional nuclear localization signal sequence and binds to chromatin. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-chip arrays, we identified the promoters that associate with nuc-ErbB3 and clustered the active promoters in Schwann cell gene expression. nuc-ErbB3 regulates the transcriptional activity of ezrin and HMGB1 promoters, whereas inhibition of nuc-ErbB3 expression results in reduced myelination and altered distribution of ezrin in the nodes of Ranvier. Finally, we reveal that NRG1 regulates the translation of nuc-ErbB3 in rat Schwann cells. For the first time, to our knowledge, we show that alternative transcription initiation from a gene that encodes a RTK is capable to generate a protein variant of the receptor with a distinct role in molecular and cellular regulation. We propose a new concept for the molecular regulation of myelination through the expression and distinct role of nuc-ErbB3.
Project description:Investigation of peripheral gene expression patterns of transcripts within the NRG-ErbB signaling pathway, other than neuregulin-1 (NRG1), among patients with schizophrenia and more specifically treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is limited. The present study built on our previous work demonstrating elevated levels of NRG1 EGF?, EGF?, and type I(Ig2) containing transcripts in TRS by investigating 11 NRG-ErbB signaling pathway mRNA transcripts (NRG2, ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, ErbB4, PIK3CD, PIK3R3, AKT1, mTOR, P70S6K, eIF4EBP1) in whole blood of TRS patients (N?=?71) and healthy controls (N?=?57). We also examined the effect of clozapine exposure on transcript levels using cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 15 healthy individuals. Five transcripts (ErbB3, PIK3CD, AKT1, P70S6K, eIF4EBP1) were significantly elevated in TRS patients compared to healthy controls but only expression of P70S6K (Pcorrected?=?0.018), a protein kinase linked to protein synthesis, cell growth, and cell proliferation, survived correction for multiple testing using the Benjamini-Hochberg method. Investigation of clinical factors revealed that ErbB2, PIK3CD, PIK3R3, AKT1, mTOR, and P70S6K expression were negatively correlated with duration of illness. However, no transcript was associated with chlorpromazine equivalent dose or clozapine plasma levels, the latter supported by our in vitro PBMC clozapine exposure experiment. Taken together with previously published NRG1 results, our findings suggest an overall upregulation of transcripts within the NRG-ErbB signaling pathway among individuals with schizophrenia some of which attenuate over duration of illness. Follow-up studies are needed to determine if the observed peripheral upregulation of transcripts within the NRG-ErbB signaling pathway are specific to TRS or are a general blood-based marker of schizophrenia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The ErbB family consists of four proteins including (EGFR)/ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4, and plays a crucial role in the promotion of multiple tumorigenic processes. In addition to the traditional pathways of EGFR signaling, EGFR translocates to the nucleus and acts as a transcription factor in the proliferation of cancer cells. Heregulin is known as both an ErbB3 and an ErbB4 ligand. This study aimed to investigate the expression of heregulin and its relevant EGFR family members as well as their phosphorylated forms in human colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and to determine the relationship between their expression and clinicopathological factors including patient prognosis. METHODS: We analyzed the effects of exogenous heregulin on ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4 phosphorylation in Caco-2, DLD-1, and HCT 116 colon cancer cell lines by western blot analysis. We examined 155 surgical resections from colorectomy patients. Cellular localization of ErbB1-4, their phosphorylated forms and heregulin protein was analyzed in CRC surgical resections by immunohistochemical analysis. Immunohistochemical results were compared with clinicopathological factors and patient prognosis. RESULTS: Phosphorylated ErbB2 (pErbB2) and phosphorylated ErbB3 (pErbB3) were detected in both nuclear and cytosolic fractions of Caco-2 and DLD-1 cells stimulated by exogenous heregulin. Whereas, phosphorylated ErbB4 (pErbB4) was detected only in cytosolic fractions of HCT 116 cells stimulated by exogenous heregulin. Phosphorylated EGFR (pEGFR) immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm and nuclei of cancer cells, whereas the pattern of EGFR staining was membranous and cytoplasmic. Subcellular localization of pErbB2, cytoplasmic, membranous, or nuclear, varied among cases. pErbB3 immunoreactivity was exclusively observed in the nuclei of cancer cells. pErbB4 immunoreactivity was observed in the cell membrane of cancer cells. Statistically, heregulin immunoreactivity correlated with pErbB2 and pErbB4 expression. In multivariate analysis for disease free survival, lymph node status, pErbB3 and pErbB4 expression retained independent prognostic significance. In multivariate analysis for overall survival, lymph node status, pEGFR and pErbB4 retained independent prognostic significance. CONCLUSIONS: ErbB2 and ErbB3 phosphorylated by heregulin localized in the nucleus of CRC cells. Phosphorylated ErbB1-4 and heregulin contribute to poorer patient prognosis in CRC. This heregulin-ErbB family member autocrine loop may be a candidate for targeted treatment of CRC.
Project description:Background:Somatic mutations in the ERBB genes (epidermal growth factor receptor: EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3, ERBB4) promote oncogenesis and lapatinib resistance in metastatic HER2+ (human epidermal growth factor-like receptor 2) breast cancer in vitro. Our study aimed to determine the frequency of mutations in four genes: EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3 and ERBB4 and to investigate whether these mutations affect cellular behaviour and therapy response in vitro and outcomes after adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy in clinical samples. Methods:We performed Agena MassArray analysis of 227 HER2+ breast cancer samples to identify the type and frequency of ERBB family mutations. Of these, two mutations, the somatic mutations ERBB4-V721I and ERBB4-S303F, were stably transfected into HCC1954 (PIK3CA mutant), HCC1569 (PIK3CA wildtype) and BT474 (PIK3CA mutant, ER positive) HER2+ breast cancer cell lines for functional in vitro experiments. Results:A total of 12 somatic, likely deleterious mutations in the kinase and furin-like domains of the ERBB genes (3 EGFR, 1 ERBB2, 3 ERBB3, 5 ERBB4) were identified in 7% of HER2+ breast cancers, with ERBB4 the most frequently mutated gene. The ERBB4-V721I kinase domain mutation significantly increased 3D-colony formation in 3/3 cell lines, whereas ERBB4-S303F did not increase growth rate or 3D colony formation in vitro. ERBB4-V721I sensitized HCC1569 cells (PIK3CA wildtype) to the pan class I PI3K inhibitor copanlisib but increased resistance to the pan-HER family inhibitor afatinib. The combinations of copanlisib with trastuzumab, lapatinib, or afatinib remained synergistic regardless of ERBB4-V721I or ERBB4-S303F mutation status. Conclusions:ERBB gene family mutations, which are present in 7% of our HER2+ breast cancer cohort, may have the potential to alter cellular behaviour and the efficacy of HER- and PI3K-inhibition.