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Fascin is involved in the chemotherapeutic resistance of breast cancer cells predominantly via the PI3K/Akt pathway.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A major therapeutic challenge for breast cancer is the ability of cancer cells to evade killing of conventional chemotherapeutic agents. We have recently reported the actin-bundling protein (fascin) as a major regulator of breast cancer metastasis and survival. METHODS: Survival of breast cancer patients that received chemotherapy and xenograft tumour model was used to assess the effect of chemotherapy on fascin-positive and -negative breast cancer cells. Molecular and cellular assays were used to gain in-depth understanding of the relationship between fascin and chemoresistance. RESULTS: We showed a significant correlation between fascin expression and shorter survival in breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy. In xenograft experiments, fascin-positive cancer cells displayed significantly more resistance to chemotherapy-mediated apoptotic cell death than fascin-negative counterparts. This increased chemoresistance was at least partially mediated through PI3K/Akt signalling, and was paralleled by increased FAK phosphorylation, enhanced expression of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (XIAP and Livin) and suppression of the proapoptotic markers (caspase 9, caspase 3 and PARP). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report to demonstrate fascin involvement in breast cancer chemotherapeutic resistance, supporting the development of fascin-targeting drugs for better treatment of chemoresistance breast cancer.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4200093 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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