EGF receptor stimulation shifts breast cancer cell glucose metabolism toward glycolytic flux through PI3 kinase signaling.
ABSTRACT: Breast cancers that express epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors (EGFRs) are associated with poor prognosis. Our group recently showed in breast cancer patients that EGFR expression is strongly correlated with high tumor uptake of the glucose analogue, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Here, we explored the cellular mechanism and signaling pathways that can explain the relation between EGFR and breast cancer cell glucose metabolism. FDG uptake, lactate production and hexokinase (HK) activity were measured, and proliferation assays and western blots were performed. EGF stimulated an increase of FDG uptake in EGFR-positive T47D and MDA-MB-468 cells, but not in MCF-7 cells. In T47D cells, the effect was dose-dependent and was accompanied by increased lactate production, indicating a shift toward glycolytic flux. This metabolic response occurred through enhanced HK activity and upregulated glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression. EGFR stimulation also increased T47D cell proliferation. Blocking EGFR activation with BIBX1382 or gefitinib completely abolished both FDG uptake and proliferation effects. EGFR stimulation induced MAP kinase (MAPK) and PI3 kinase (PI3K) activation. Increased cell proliferation by EGFR stimulation was completely abolished by MAPK inhibition with PD98059 or by PI3K inhibition with LY294002. Increased FDG uptake was also completely abrogated by PI3K inhibition but was uninfluenced by MAPK inhibition. These findings suggest that the association between breast tumor EGFR expression and high FDG uptake might be contributed by stimulation of the PI3K pathway downstream of EGFR activation. This was in contrast to EGFR-mediated cell proliferation that required MAPK as well as PI3K signaling.
Project description:Preclinical studies indicate that activated IGF-1R can drive endocrine resistance in ER-positive (ER+) breast cancer, but its clinical relevance is unknown. We studied the effect of IGF-1R signaling on tamoxifen benefit in patients and we searched for approaches to overcome IGF-1R-mediated tamoxifen failure in cell lines. Primary tumor blocks from postmenopausal ER+ breast cancer patients randomized between adjuvant tamoxifen versus nil were recollected. Immunohistochemistry for IGF-1R, p-IGF-1R/InsR, p-ER?(Ser118), p-ER?(Ser167) and PI3K/MAPK pathway proteins was performed. Multivariate Cox models were employed to assess tamoxifen efficacy. The association between p-IGF-1R/InsR and PI3K/MAPK pathway activation in MCF-7 and T47D cells was analyzed with Western blots. Cell proliferation experiments were performed under various growth-stimulating and -inhibiting conditions. Patients with ER+, IGF-1R-positive breast cancer without p-IGF-1R/InsR staining (n = 242) had tamoxifen benefit (HR 0.41, p = 0.0038), while the results for p-IGF-1R/InsR-positive patients (n = 125) were not significant (HR 0.95, p = 0.3). High p-ER?(Ser118) or p-ER?(Ser167) expression was associated with less tamoxifen benefit. In MCF-7 cells, IGF-1R stimulation increased phosphorylation of PI3K/MAPK proteins and ER?(Ser167) regardless of IGF-1R overexpression. This could be abrogated by the dual IGF-1R/InsR inhibitor linsitinib, but not by the IGF-IR-selective antibody 1H7. In MCF-7 and T47D cells, stimulation of the IGF-1R/InsR pathway resulted in cell proliferation regardless of tamoxifen. Abrogation of cell growth was regained by addition of linsitinib. In conclusion, p-IGF-1R/InsR positivity in ER+ breast cancer is associated with reduced benefit from adjuvant tamoxifen in postmenopausal patients. In cell lines, stimulation rather than overexpression of IGF-1R is driving tamoxifen resistance to be abrogated by linsitinib.
Project description:Flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 are two homologous and ubiquitously expressed proteins that are involved in signal transduction and membrane trafficking. Recent studies have reported that flotillins promote breast cancer progression, thus making them interesting targets for breast cancer treatment. In the present study, we have investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of flotillins in breast cancer.Human adenocarcinoma MCF7 breast cancer cells were stably depleted of flotillins by means of lentivirus mediated short hairpin RNAs. Western blotting, immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time PCR were used to analyze the expression of proteins of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family. Western blotting was used to investigate the effect of EGFR stimulation or inhibition as well as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibition on mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Rescue experiments were performed by stable transfection of RNA intereference resistant flotillin proteins.We here show that stable knockdown of flotillin-1 in MCF7 cells resulted in upregulation of EGFR mRNA and protein expression and hyperactivation of MAPK signaling, whereas ErbB2 and ErbB3 expression were not affected. Treatment of the flotillin knockdown cells with an EGFR inhibitor reduced the MAPK signaling, demonstrating that the increased EGFR expression and activity is the cause of the increased signaling. Stable ectopic expression of flotillins in the knockdown cells reduced the increased EGFR expression, demonstrating a direct causal relationship between flotillin-1 expression and EGFR amount. Furthermore, the upregulation of EGFR was dependent on the PI3K signaling pathway which is constitutively active in MCF7 cells, and PI3K inhibition resulted in reduced EGFR expression.This study demonstrates that flotillins may not be suitable as cancer therapy targets in cells that carry certain other oncogenic mutations such as PI3K activating mutations, as unexpected effects are prone to emerge upon flotillin knockdown which may even facilitate cancer cell growth and proliferation.
Project description:Proximal tubule cell (PTC) proliferation is critical for tubular regeneration and recovery from acute kidney injury. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) are important for the maintenance of tubulointerstitial integrity and can stimulate PTC proliferation. We utilized HK-2 cells, an immortalized human PTC line, to characterize the EGF-dependent regulation of VEGF-A secretion and proliferation in PTCs. We demonstrate that EGF stimulates VEGF-A secretion via the EGF receptor (EGFR) and stimulates cell proliferation via activation of the VEGF receptor, VEGFR-2. EGFR activation promotes MAPK (ERK1/2) activation and HIF-1? expression, which are required for basal and EGF-stimulated VEGF-A secretion. EGF also stimulates the phosphorylation of P70S6 kinase (P70S6K), the downstream target of mTORC1. Rapamycin decreased basal and EGF stimulated HIF-1? and enhanced MAPK (ERK1/2) activation, while MAPK (ERK/12) inhibition downregulated HIF-1? expression and the phosphorylation of p70S6K. EGF stimulation of p70S6K was also independent of p-AKT Inhibition of the mTORC1 pathway with rapamycin abolished phosphorylation of p70S6K but had no effect on VEGF-A secretion, indicating that EGF-stimulated VEGF-A secretion did not require mTORC1 pathway activation. We demonstrate evidence of a complex crosstalk between the MAPK/ERK and mTORC1 pathways, wherein MAPK (ERK1/2) activation stimulates p-P70S6K, while p-P70S6K activation seems to inhibit MAPK (ERK1/2) in EGF-treated HK-2 cells. Our results suggest that EGF stimulates MAPK (ERK1/2) in HK-2 cells, which in turn increases HIF-1? expression and VEGF-A secretion, indicating that VEGF-A mediates EGF-stimulated cell proliferation as an autocrine proximal tubular epithelial cell growth factor.
Project description:Estrogens play a pivotal role in the development and proliferation of hormone-dependent breast cancer. Apart from free estrogens, which can directly activate the estrogen receptor (ER) of tumor cells, sulfo-conjugated steroids, which maintain high plasma concentrations even after menopause, first have to be imported into tumor cells by carrier-mediated uptake and then can be cleaved by the steroid sulfatase to finally activate ERs and cell proliferation. In the present study, expression of the sodium-dependent organic anion transporter SOAT was analyzed in breast cancer and its role for hormone-dependent proliferation of T47D breast cancer cells was elucidated. The SOAT protein was localized to the ductal epithelium of the mammary gland by immunohistochemistry. SOAT showed high expression in different pathologies of the breast with a clear ductal localization, including ductal hyperplasia, intraductal papilloma, and intraductal carcinoma. In a larger breast cancer cDNA array, SOAT mRNA expression was high in almost all adenocarcinoma specimen, but expression did not correlate with either the ER, progesterone receptor, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status. Furthermore, SOAT expression did not correlate with tumor stage or grade, indicating widespread SOAT expression in breast cancer. To analyze the role of SOAT for breast cancer cell proliferation, T47D cells were stably transfected with SOAT and incubated under increasing concentrations of estrone-3-sulfate (E1S) and estradiol at physiologically relevant concentrations. Cell proliferation was significantly increased by 10-9 M estradiol as well as by E1S with EC50 of 2.2 nM. In contrast, T47D control cells showed 10-fold lower sensitivity to E1S stimulation with EC50 of 21.7 nM. The E1S-stimulated proliferation of SOAT-T47D cells was blocked by the SOAT inhibitor 4-sulfooxymethylpyrene.The present study clearly demonstrates expression of SOAT in breast cancer tissue with ductal localization. SOAT inhibition can block the E1S-stimulated proliferation of T47D breast cancer cells, demonstrating that SOAT is an interesting novel drug target from the group of E1S uptake carriers for anti-proliferative breast cancer therapy.
Project description:Statins purportedly exert anti-tumoral effects on breast cancer. However, the biologic mechanisms for these actions are not fully elucidated. The aims of this study were 1) to explore the effects of simvastatin on apoptosis, proliferation as well as PI3K/Akt/mTOR and MAPK/ERK pathway in a window-of-opportunity breast cancer trial; 2) to further confirm findings from the clinical trial by functional studies; 3) to explore the regulatory role of mevalonate pathway on the anti-tumoral effects of simvastatin. In clinical samples, simvastatin led to increase in cleaved caspase-3 (p = 0.002) and decreased trend for Ki67 (p = 0.245). Simvastatin markedly suppressed PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling by activating PTEN (p = 0.005) and by dephosphorylating Akt (p = 0.002) and S6RP (p = 0.033); it also inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by dephosphorylating c-Raf (p = 0.018) and ERK1/2 (p = 0.002). In ER-positive (MCF-7, T47D) and ER-negative (MDA-MB-231, BT-549) breast cancer cells, simvastatin treatment consistently induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation by deregulating caspase cascades and cell cycle proteins in a dose dependent manner. Concordantly, simvastatin strongly suppressed PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by enhancing PTEN expression and by further sequentially dephosphorylating downstream cascades including Akt, mTOR, p70S6K, S6RP and 4E-BP1. Furthermore, simvastatin significantly inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by dephosphorylating sequential cascades such as c-Raf, MEK1/2 and ERK1/2. These simvastatin anti-tumoral effects were reversed by metabolic products of the mevalonate pathway, including mevalonate, farnesyl pyrophosphate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. These findings shed light on the biological and potential anti-tumoral effects of simvastatin in breast cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tamoxifen resistance is a major problem in the treatment of estrogen receptor (ER) ? -positive breast cancer patients. Although the mechanisms behind tamoxifen resistance are still not completely understood, clinical data suggests that increased expression of receptor tyrosine kinases is involved. Here, we studied the estrogen and anti-estrogen sensitivity of human breast cancer MCF7 cells that have a moderate, retroviral-mediated, ectopic expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (MCF7-EGFR). METHODS: Proliferation of MCF7-EGFR and parental cells was induced by 17?-estradiol (E2), epidermal growth factor (EGF) or a combination of these. Inhibition of proliferation under these conditions was investigated with 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen (TAM) or fulvestrant at 10(-12) to 10(-6) M. Cells were lysed at different time points to determine the phosphorylation status of EGFR, MAPK1/3, AKT and the expression of ER?. Knockdown of target genes was established using smartpool siRNAs. Transcriptomics analysis was done 6 hr after stimulation with growth factors using Affymetrix HG-U133 PM array plates. RESULTS: While proliferation of parental MCF7 cells could only be induced by E2, proliferation of MCF7-EGFR cells could be induced by either E2 or EGF. Treatment with TAM or fulvestrant did significantly inhibit proliferation of MCF7-EGFR cells stimulated with E2 alone. EGF treatment of E2/TAM treated cells led to a marked cell proliferation thereby overruling the anti-estrogen-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation. Under these conditions, TAM however did still inhibit ER?- mediated transcription. While siRNA-mediated knock-down of EGFR inhibited the EGF- driven proliferation under TAM/E2/EGF condition, knock down of ER? did not. The TAM resistant cell proliferation mediated by the conditional EGFR-signaling may be dependent on the PI3K/Akt pathway but not the MEK/MAPK pathway, since a MEK inhibitor (U0126), did not block the proliferation. Transcriptomic analysis under the various E2/TAM/EGF conditions revealed that E2 and EGF dependent transcription have little overlap and rather operate in a parallel fashion. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that enhanced EGFR-driven signalling is sufficient to overrule the TAM- mediated inhibition of E2-driven cell proliferation. This may have profound implications for the anti-estrogen treatment of ER-positive breast cancers that have increased levels of EGFR.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Positron emission tomography (PET) with [2-18?F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18?F]FDG-PET) was acquired at multiple time-points a) to monitor the early response to RO5126766 (CH5126766) in xenograft models b) to evaluate non-invasive small animal [18?F]FDG-PET imaging as a biomarker for MEK inhibitors for translation into dose-finding studies in cancer patients and c) to explore the underlying mechanism related to FDG uptake in tumors treated with RO5126766. METHODS: [18?F]FDG uptake was studied in HCT116 (K-ras), COLO205 (B-raf) mutants and COLO320DM (wild type) xenografts from day 0 to 3 of RO5126766 treatment using a microPET Focus 120 and complemented with in vitro incubations, ex-vivo phosphor imaging and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses. RESULTS: In the HCT116 (K-ras) and COLO205 (B-raf) mutant xenografts, significant decreases in [18?F]FDG uptake were detected in vivo on day 1 with 0.3 mg/kg and ex vivo on day 3 with 0.1 mg/kg RO5126766. [18?F]FDG changes correlated with decreases in tumor cells proliferation (Ki-67) and with changes in expression levels of GLUT1. No effects were observed in drug resistant COLO320DM cells. The cellular fractionation and Western blotting analyses suggested that the change of [18?F]FDG uptake associated with RO5126766 is due to translocation of GLUT1 from membrane to cytosol, similar to the results reported in the literature with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which also target the MAPK pathway. CONCLUSIONS: RO5126766 inhibition resulted in a rapid time - and dose - dependent decline in [18?F]FDG uptake in both mutant xenografts. These results strongly resemble the clinical observations obtained with MEK/Raf inhibitors support the use of preclinical [18?F]FDG-PET as a translational tool for decision support in preclinical and early clinical development of MEK inhibitors.
Project description:All-trans retinoic acid (tRA) induces differentiation in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, stimulates sodium/iodide symporter (NIS) gene expression, and inhibits cell proliferation. Radioiodine administration after systemic tRA treatment has been proposed as an approach to image and treat some differentiated breast cancer.The objective of this work was to study the relative role of genomic and nongenomic pathways in tRA stimulation of NIS expression in MCF-7 cells.We inspected the human NIS gene locus for retinoic acid-responsive elements and tested them for function. The effects of signal transduction pathway inhibitors were also tested in tRA-treated MCF-7 cells and TSH-stimulated FRTL-5 rat thyroid cells, followed by iodide uptake assay, quantitative RT-PCR of NIS, and cell cycle phase analysis.Multiple retinoic acid response elements around the NIS locus were identified by sequence inspection, but none of them was a functional tRA-induced element in MCF-7 cells. Inhibitors of the IGF-I receptor, Janus kinase, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), significantly reduced NIS mRNA expression and iodide uptake in tRA-stimulated MCF-7 cells but not FRTL-5 cells. An inhibitor of p38 MAPK significantly reduced iodide uptake in both tRA-stimulated MCF-7 cells and TSH-stimulated FRTL-5 cells. IGF-I and PI3K inhibitors did not significantly reduce the basal NIS mRNA expression in MCF-7 cells. Despite the chronic inhibitory effects on cell proliferation, tRA did not reduce the S-phase distribution of MCF-7 cells during the period of NIS induction.The IGF-I receptor/PI3K pathway mediates tRA-stimulated NIS expression in MCF-7 but not FRTL-5 thyroid cells.
Project description:A high frequency of somatic mutations has been found in breast cancers within the gene encoding the catalytic p110? subunit of PI3K, PIK3CA. Using isogenic human breast epithelial cells, we have previously demonstrated that oncogenic PIK3CA "hotspot" mutations predict for response to the toxic effects of lithium. However, other somatic genetic alterations occur within this pathway in breast cancers, and it is possible that these changes may also predict for lithium sensitivity. We overexpressed the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) into the non-tumorigenic human breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A, and compared these cells to isogenic cell lines previously created via somatic cell gene targeting to model Pten loss, PIK3CA mutations, and the invariant AKT1 mutation, E17K. EGFR overexpressing clones were capable of cellular proliferation in the absence of EGF and were sensitive to lithium similar to the results previously seen with cells harboring PIK3CA mutations. In contrast, AKT1 E17K cells and PTEN -/- cells displayed resistance or partial sensitivity to lithium, respectively. Western blot analysis demonstrated that lithium sensitivity correlated with significant decreases in both PI3K and MAPK signaling that were observed only in EGFR overexpressing and mutant PIK3CA cell lines. These studies demonstrate that EGFR overexpression and PIK3CA mutations are predictors of response to lithium, whereas Pten loss and AKT1 E17K mutations do not predict for lithium sensitivity. Our findings may have important implications for the use of these genetic lesions in breast cancer patients as predictive markers of response to emerging PI3K pathway inhibitors.
Project description:AIM:Targeting the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is a potential means of overcoming chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. We investigated the capability of (18)F-fluororodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) small-animal positron emission tomography (SA-PET) to predict the effects of a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor (BEZ-235) in a cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer model. METHODS:In a first experiment, nude rats bearing subcutaneous SKOV3 tumors received BEZ-235 for 3 days given alone or after paclitaxel and were compared to controls (either untreated or that were given the excipients of paclitaxel and BEZ-235). SA-PET was performed at baseline, on day 3, and day 7. In a second experiment aiming at further exploring the kinetics of (18)F-FDG tumor uptake during the first 48 hours following drug cessation, untreated controls were compared to rats receiving BEZ-235, which were imaged at baseline, on day 3, on day 4, and on day 5. SA-PET results were compared to cell proliferation assessment (Ki-67), PI3K/mTOR downstream target expression studies (pAKT and phospho-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1), and apoptosis evaluation (cleaved caspase-3). RESULTS:In the first experiment, BEZ-235, compared to untreated controls, induced a marked decrease in (18)F-FDG uptake on day 3, which was correlated to a significant decrease in cell proliferation and to a significant PI3K/mTOR pathway inhibition. No tumor necrosis or apoptosis occurred. Four days following treatment cessation, tumor recovery (in terms of PI3K/mTOR inhibition and cell proliferation) occurred and was identified by (18)F-FDG SA-PET. Paclitaxel plus BEZ-235 showed results similar to BEZ-235 alone. In the second experiment, PI3K/mTOR pathways exhibited partial recovery as early as 24 hours following treatment cessation, but both (18)F-FDG SA-PET and cell proliferation remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS:(18)F-FDG SA-PET is a surrogate marker of target inhibition during treatment with BEZ-235 and predicts tumor recovery 4 days after drug withdrawal, but not during the first 48 hours following drug cessation, when a lag between PI3K/mTOR pathway recovery and metabolic recovery is observed. (18)F-FDG SA-PET could be used for therapy monitoring of PI3K/mTOR inhibitors, but our results also raise questions regarding the potential impact of the delay between PET imaging and the last drug intake on the accuracy of FDG imaging.