Combination of two anti-tubulin agents, eribulin and paclitaxel, enhances anti-tumor effects on triple-negative breast cancer through mesenchymal-epithelial transition.
ABSTRACT: Improved prognosis for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has currently plateaued and the development of novel therapeutic strategies is required. Therefore, we aimed to explore the anti-tumor effect of eribulin and paclitaxel combination therapy for TNBC. The effect of eribulin and paclitaxel in combination was tested, with both concurrent and sequential administration, using four TNBC cell lines (MDA-MB-231, Hs578T, MDA-MB-157, and Mx-1) in vitro and in an MDA-MB-231 BALB/c-nu/nu mouse xenograft model. The expression of epithelial-mesenchymal phenotypic markers was analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemical analyses. Simultaneous administration of eribulin and paclitaxel resulted in a synergistic anti-tumor effect with MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cells, but not MDA-MB-157 and Mx-1 cells, in vitro. Moreover, pre-treatment with one drug significantly enhanced sensitivity to the subsequently administrated second drug in MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cells. Eribulin increased E-cadherin expression and decreased the expression of mesenchymal markers in MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cells. In contrast, paclitaxel increased the expression of mesenchymal markers. When epithelial-mesenchymal transition was induced by TGF-?1, eribulin sensitivity was enhanced. In contrast, a TGF-? receptor kinase inhibitor decreased eribulin sensitivity. In MDA-MB-231 tumor-bearing mice, concurrent administration of low doses of eribulin and paclitaxel significantly inhibited tumor growth compared to that with either monotherapy. Moreover, single administration of eribulin before the initiation of paclitaxel treatment decreased vimentin expression and reduced the average tumor volume in a mouse xenograft model. Eribulin and paclitaxel show synergistic anti-tumor effect by altering the epithelial-mesenchymal phenotype. This combination therapy could represent a novel therapeutic strategy for TNBC.
Project description:This study aimed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the resistance of breast cancer to eribulin. Seven eribulin-resistant breast cancer cell lines (MCF7/E, BT474/E, ZR75-1/E, SKBR3/E, MDA-MB-231/E, Hs578T/E, and MDA-MB-157/E) were established. mRNA and protein expression of ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 1 (ABCB1) and subfamily C member 11 (ABCC11) increased in all eribulin-resistant cell lines compared to the parental cell lines. When ABCB1 or ABCC11 expression was inhibited by small interfering RNA in MCF7/E, BT474/E, and MDA-MB-231/E cells, eribulin sensitivity was partially restored. Moreover, eribulin resistance was attenuated additively by inhibiting ABCB1 and ABCC11 in MCF7/E cells. Additionally, overexpression of exogenous ABCB1 or ABCC11 in HEK293T cells conferred resistance to eribulin. MCF7/E and MDA-MB-231/E cells showed cross-resistance to paclitaxel, doxorubicin, and fluorouracil. Inhibition of ABCB1 partially restored paclitaxel and doxorubicin sensitivity. Partial restoration of fluorouracil sensitivity was induced by inhibiting ABCC11 in MCF7/E and MDA-MB-231/E cells. Both ABCB1 and ABCC11 are involved in the development of eribulin resistance in breast cancer cells in vitro regardless of the breast cancer subtype. Thus, ABCB1 and ABCC11 expression may be used as a biomarker for predicting the response to eribulin in patients with breast cancer. Concomitant inhibition of ABCB1 and ABCC11 might help enhance the antitumor effects of eribulin.
Project description:Breast cancer onset and disease progression have been linked to members of the TGFβ superfamily and their downstream signaling components, the Smads. Alterations in Smad3 signaling are associated with the dichotomous role of TGFβ in malignancy, mediating both tumor suppressant and pro-metastatic behaviors. Overexpression of cell cycle regulators, cyclins D and E, renders cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) 4/2 hyperactive. Noncanonical phosphorylation of Smad3 by CDK4/2 inhibits tumor suppressant actions of Smad3. We hypothesized that CDK inhibition (CDKi) would restore Smad3 action and help promote cancer cell regression. Treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-436, Hs578T) with CDK2i or CDK4i resulted in increased Smad3 activity and decreased cell migration. Transfection with a 5M Smad3 construct containing inhibitory mutations in 5 CDK phosphorylation sites also resulted in decreased TNBC cell migration and invasion. MDA-MB-231 cells treated with CDK2i or CDK4i resulted in decreased Smad3 protein phosphorylation at the CDK phosphorylation T179 site, decreased MMP2 and c-myc expression, and increased p15 and p21 expression. Using a novel transfected cell array, we found that CDK2i treatment decreased activity of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition related transcription factors Snail and Twist. In vivo studies in an MDA-MB-231 tumor model showed that individual and combination treatment with paclitaxel and CDK2i resulted in decreased tumor volume and Ki67 staining. Collectively, these data support further investigation of targeted CDK inhibitors as a promising therapeutic strategy for TNBC, a breast cancer subtype with limited treatment options.
Project description:Agents that target angiogenesis have shown limited efficacy for human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in clinical trials. Along with endothelium-dependent vessels, there is also vasculogenic mimicry (VM) in the microcirculation of malignant tumors. The role of VM is not completely understood regarding anti-angiogenic treatment. In this study, human TNBC MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T and non-TNBC MCF-7 and BT474 tumor-bearing mice were treated with sunitinib, an anti-angiogenic drug, using a clinically relevant schedule. The drug was administered for one week and then discontinued. Tumor growth and invasion were observed, and the microcirculation patterns were detected with PAS/endomucin staining. Moreover, hypoxia and VM-associated proteins were evaluated with Hypoxyprobe kits and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Sunitinib significantly inhibited tumor growth in the TNBC and non-TNBC tumors. However, MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T tumors regrew and were more aggressive when the treatment was stopped. The discontinuation had no significant effect on the behavior of the non-TNBC MCF-7 and BT474 tumors. The growth of endothelium-dependent vessels in the TNBC MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T tumors were blocked by sunitinib, during which the number of VM channels significantly increased and resulted in a rebound of endothelium-dependent vessels after sunitinib discontinuation. Moreover, the VM-associated proteins VE-cadherin and Twist1 upregulated in the sunitinib-treated MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T tumors. Furthermore, the clinical significance of this upregulation was validated in 174 human breast cancers. The results from human breast cancer specimens indicated that there were more VM-positive TNBC cases than those in non-TNBC cases. HIF-1?, MMP2, VE-cadherin, and Twist1 were also expressed in a higher level in human TNBC compared with non-TNBC. In aconclusion, sunitinib promoted TNBC invasion by VM. The VM status could be helpful to predict the efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapy in patients with TNBC.
Project description:Eribulin mesylate is a synthetic macrocyclic ketone analog of the marine sponge natural product halichondrin B and an inhibitor of microtubule dynamics. Some tubulin-binding drugs are known to have antivascular (antiangiogenesis or vascular-disrupting) activities that can target abnormal tumor vessels. Using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI analyses, here we show that eribulin induces remodeling of tumor vasculature through a novel antivascular activity in MX-1 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer xenograft models. Vascular remodeling associated with improved perfusion was shown by Hoechst 33342 staining and by increased microvessel density together with decreased mean vascular areas and fewer branched vessels in tumor tissues, as determined by immunohistochemical staining for endothelial marker CD31. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of normal host cells in the stroma of xenograft tumors showed that eribulin altered the expression of mouse (host) genes in angiogenesis signaling pathways controlling endothelial cell-pericyte interactions, and in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition pathway in the context of the tumor microenvironment. Eribulin also decreased hypoxia-associated protein expression of mouse (host) vascular endothelial growth factor by ELISA and human CA9 by immunohistochemical analysis. Prior treatment with eribulin enhanced the anti-tumor activity of capecitabine in the MDA-MB-231 xenograft model. These findings suggest that eribulin-induced remodeling of abnormal tumor vasculature leads to a more functional microenvironment that may reduce the aggressiveness of tumors due to elimination of inner tumor hypoxia. Because abnormal tumor microenvironments enhance both drug resistance and metastasis, the apparent ability of eribulin to reverse these aggressive characteristics may contribute to its clinical benefits.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15% of overall breast cancer. A lack of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2 receptor) makes TNBC more aggressive and metastatic. Wnt signaling is one of the important pathways in the cellular process; in TNBC it is aberrantly regulated, which leads to the progression and metastasis. In this study, we designed a therapeutic strategy using a combination of a low dose of paclitaxel and a Wnt signaling inhibitor (XAV939), and examined the effect of the paclitaxel-combined XAV939 treatment on diverse breast cancer lines including TNBC cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and BT549) and ER+ve cell lines (MCF-7 and T-47D). The combination treatment of paclitaxel (20 nM) and XAV939 (10 µM) exerted a comparable therapeutic effect on MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, BT549, MCF-7, and T-47D cell lines, relative to paclitaxel with a high dose (200 nM). The paclitaxel-combined XAV939 treatment induced apoptosis by suppressing Bcl-2 and by increasing the cleavage of caspases-3 and PARP. In addition, the in vivo results of the paclitaxel-combined XAV939 treatment in a mice model with the MDA-MB-231 xenograft further confirmed its therapeutic effect. Furthermore, the paclitaxel-combined XAV939 treatment reduced the expression of β-catenin, a key molecule in the Wnt pathway, which led to suppression of the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and angiogenic proteins both at mRNA and protein levels. The expression level of E-cadherin was raised, which potentially indicates the inhibition of EMT. Importantly, the breast tumor induced by pristane was significantly reduced by the paclitaxel-combined XAV939 treatment. Overall, the paclitaxel-combined XAV939 regimen was found to induce apoptosis and to inhibit Wnt signaling, resulting in the suppression of EMT and angiogenesis. For the first time, we report that our combination approach using a low dose of paclitaxel and XAV939 could be conducive to treating TNBC and an external carcinogen-induced breast cancer.
Project description:Women with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) have poor prognosis compared to other breast cancer subtypes. There were several reports indicating racial disparity in breast cancer outcomes between African American (AA) and European American (EA) women. For example, the mortality rates of AA breast cancer patients were three times higher than of EA patients, even though, the incidence is lower in AA women. Our in vitro studies indicate that cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) derived from AA TNBC cell lines have significantly higher self-renewal potential (mammosphere formation) than CSCs derived from EA cell lines. TNBC tumors express high levels of Myc compared to luminal A or HER2 expressing breast cancers. We studied the effects of c-Myc overexpression on CSCs and chemotherapy in AA, and EA derived TNBC cell line(s). Overexpression of c-Myc in AA derived MDA-MB-468 (Myc/MDA-468) cells resulted in a significant increase in CSCs and with minimal changes in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) compared to the control group. In contrast, overexpression of c-Myc in EA derived MDA-MB-231(Myc/MDA-231) cells led to increased epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), with a minimal increase in CSCs compared to the control group. Myc/MDA-468 cells were resistant to standard chemotherapeutic treatments such as iniparib (PARP inhibitor) plus cisplatin, / iniparib, cisplatin, paclitaxel and docetaxel. However, Myc/MDA-231 cells, which showed EMT changes responded to iniparib with cisplatin, but were resistant to other drugs, such as iniparib, cisplatin, paclitaxel and docetaxel. Collectively, our results indicate that intrinsic differences in the tumor biology may contribute to the breast cancer disparities.
Project description:Radioresistant cells cause recurrence in patients with breast cancer after they undergo radiation therapy. The molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells obtain radioresistance should be understood to develop radiation-sensitizing agents. Results showed that the protein expression and activity of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) were upregulated in radioresistant MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. NQO1 knockdown inhibited the proliferation of NQO1 expressing Hs578t TNBC cells or the radioresistant MDA-MB-231 cells, whereas NOQ1 overexpression increased the survival of MDA-MB-231 cells, which lack of NQO1 expression originally, under irradiation. The cytotoxicity of ?-lapachone, an NQO1-dependent bioactivatable compound, was greater in radioresistant MDA-MB-231 cells than in parental cells. ?-lapachone displayed a radiosensitization effect on Hs578t or radioresistant MBDA-MB-231 cells. The expression of the long noncoding RNA NEAT1 positively regulated the NQO1 expression in radioresistant MDA-MB-231 cells at a translational level rather than at a transcription level. The inhibition of the NEAT1 expression through the CRISPR-Cas9 method increased the sensitivity of radioresistant MDA-MB-231 cells to radiation and decreased their proliferation, the activity of cancer stem cells, and the expression of stemness genes, including BMI1, Oct4, and Sox2. In conclusion, the NQO1 expression in triple-negative breast cancer cells determined their radiosensitivity and was controlled by NEAT1. In addition, NOQ1 bioactivatable compounds displayed potential for application in the development of radiation sensitizers in breast cancer.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most difficult breast cancers to treat because there is no targeted treatment, and conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy followed by adjuvant radiation therapy is the standard of care for patients with TNBC. We herein reported that ionizing radiation (IR) induced Wnt3a, LRP6 and ?-catenin expression and consequently activated Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468 and Hs578T cells. Moreover, depletion of ?-catenin by shRNA sensitized TNBC cells to IR, whereas treatment of Wnt3a protein or overexpression of ?-catenin resulted in radioresistance of TNBC cells. Niclosamide, a potent inhibitor of Wnt/?-catenin signaling, not only inhibited constitutive Wnt/?-catenin signaling, but also blocked IR-induced Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC cells. In addition, niclosamide sensitized TNBC cells to IR, prevented Wnt3a-induced radioresistance, and overcame ?-catenin-induced radioresistance in TNBC cells. Importantly, animals treated with the combination of niclosamide and ?-ray local tumor irradiation had significant inhibition of MDA-MB-231 tumor growth compared with treated with local tumor irradiation alone. These findings indicate that Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway plays an important role in the development of radioresistance of TNBC cells, and that niclosamide had significant radiosensitizing effects by inhibiting Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC cells. Our study also provides rationale for further preclinical and clinical evaluation of niclosamide in TNBC management.
Project description:Ttriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive and highly metastatic breast cancer subtype. Enhanced TNBC cell motility is a prerequisite of TNBC cell dissemination. Here, we apply an imaging-based RNAi phenotypic cell migration screen using two highly motile TNBC cell lines (Hs578T and MDA-MB-231) to provide a repository of signaling determinants that functionally drive TNBC cell motility. We have screened ~4,200 target genes individually and discovered 133 and 113 migratory modulators of Hs578T and MDA-MB-231, respectively, which are linked to signaling networks predictive for breast cancer progression. The splicing factors PRPF4B and BUD31 and the transcription factor BPTF are essential for cancer cell migration, amplified in human primary breast tumors and associated with metastasis-free survival. Depletion of PRPF4B, BUD31 and BPTF causes primarily down regulation of genes involved in focal adhesion and ECM-interaction pathways. PRPF4B is essential for TNBC metastasis formation in vivo, making PRPF4B a candidate for further drug development.
Project description:Sprouty (Spry) proteins have been implicated in cancer progression, but their role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype of lethal and aggressive breast cancer, is unknown. Here, we reported that Spry1 is significantly expressed in TNBC specimen and MDA-MB-231 cells. To understand Spry1 regulation of signaling events controlling breast cancer phenotype, we used lentiviral delivery of human Spry1 shRNAs to suppress Spry1 expression in MDA-MB-231, an established TNBC cell line. Spry1 knockdown MDA-MB-231 cells displayed an epithelial phenotype with increased membrane E-cadherin expression. Knockdown of Spry1 impaired MDA-MB-231 cell migration, Matrigel invasion, and anchorage-dependent and -independent growth. Tumor xenografts originating from Spry1 knockdown MDA-MB-231 cells grew slower, had increased E-cadherin expression, and yielded fewer lung metastases compared to control. Furthermore, suppressing Spry1 in MDA-MB-231 cells impaired the induction of Snail and Slug expression by EGF, and this effect was associated with increased EGFR degradation and decreased EGFR/Grb2/Shp2/Gab1 signaling complex formation. The same phenotype was also observed in the TNBC cell line MDA-MB-157. Together, our results show that unlike in some tumors, where Spry may mediate tumor suppression, Spry1 plays a selective role in at least a subset of TNBC to promote the malignant phenotype via enhancing EGF-mediated mesenchymal phenotype.