Crumbs protein homolog 3 (CRB3) expression is associated with oestrogen and progesterone receptor positivity in breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: The crumbs protein homolog 3 (CRB3) regulates the tight junction to help maintain epithelial polarity. Altered CRB3 expression was associated with carcinogenesis of epithelial cells. This study detected CRB3 expression in 192 cases of breast cancer tissues and in the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (Metabric) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets for association with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) phenotypes. The in vitro experiments confirm the ex vivo data. The data showed that levels of both CRB3 mRNA and protein were associated with TNBC phenotypes, ie, 41.1% (39/95) of ER+ breast cancer was CRB3-positive, whereas 26.9% (25/93) ER- tumour was CRB3-positive (P = 0.046). Moreover, 47.6% (30/63) of PR+ breast cancer was CRB3-positive vs 28.4% (33/116) PR- tumours positive for CRB3 (P = 0.013). In addition, 40.1% (27/66) of ER+/PR+ tumour was CRB3-positive, but only 22.4% (19/85) of TNBC showed CRB3 expression (P = 0.048). Indeed, levels of CRB3 mRNA were higher in non-TNBC than TNBC in both Metabric (P = 3.682e-10) and TCGA datasets (P = 2.501e-07). The in vitro data showed that CRB3 expression was higher in luminal (MCF7 and T47D) than in HER2 (MDA-MB-453 and SK-BR-3) and basal (MDA-MB-231 and BT-549) breast cancer cell lines. More interestingly, ER? regulated expression of CRB3 protein in MCF7 and BT-549 cells and ER? expression was associated with CRB3 expression in breast cancer tissues specimens. This study demonstrated that ER? could be a novel regulator for CRB3 expression in breast cancer.
Project description:PURPOSE:A subset of estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer (BC) contains high levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), similar to triple-negative BC (TNBC). The majority of immuno-oncology trials target TNBCs because of the greater proportion of TIL-rich TNBCs. The extent to which the immune microenvironments of immune-rich ER-positive BC and TNBC differ is unknown. PATIENTS AND METHODS:RNA sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA; n = 697 ER-positive BCs; n = 191 TNBCs) were used for discovery; microarray expression data from Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (METABRIC; n = 1,186 ER-positive BCs; n = 297 TNBCs) was used for validation. Patients in the top 25th percentile of a previously published total TIL metagene score distribution were considered immune rich. We compared expression of immune cell markers, immune function metagenes, and immuno-oncology therapeutic targets among immune-rich subtypes. RESULTS:Relative fractions of resting mast cells (TCGA P adj = .009; METABRIC P adj = 4.09E-15), CD8+ T cells (TCGA P adj = .015; METABRIC P adj = 0.390), and M2-like macrophages (TCGA P adj= 4.68E-05; METABRIC P adj = .435) were higher in immune-rich ER-positive BCs, but M0-like macrophages (TCGA P adj = 0.015; METABRIC P adj = .004) and M1-like macrophages (TCGA P adj = 9.39E-08; METABRIC P adj = 6.24E-11) were higher in immune-rich TNBCs. Ninety-one immune-related genes (eg, CXCL14, CSF3R, TGF-B3, LRRC32/GARP, TGFB-R2) and a transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) response metagene were significantly overexpressed in immune-rich ER-positive BCs, whereas 41 immune-related genes (eg, IFNG, PD-L1, CTLA4, MAGEA4) were overexpressed in immune-rich TNBCs in both discovery and validation data sets. TGF-? pathway member genes correlated negatively with expression of immune activation markers (IFNG, granzyme-B, perforin) and positively with M2-like macrophages (IL4, IL10, and MMP9) and regulatory T-cell (FOXP3) markers in both subtypes. CONCLUSION:Different immunotherapy strategies may be optimal in immune-rich ER-positive BC and TNBC. Drugs targeting the TGF-? pathway and M2-like macrophages are promising strategies in immune-rich ER-positive BCs to augment antitumor immunity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer that lacks ER/PR and HER2 receptors. Hence, there is urgency in developing new or novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of TNBC. Our study shows that the Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) is a marker associated with TNBC and may play a key role in TNBC disease progression. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:ELISA method was used to measure secreted MCP-1, and mRNA levels were determined by Real-time PCR in numerous cancer cell lines, representing various breast cancer subtypes. Cellular invasiveness was determined by Boyden chamber assay. RESULTS:Our data show that MCP-1 is upregulated in TNBC cell lines both transcriptionally as well as in secreted protein levels compared to ER-positive luminal cell line, MCF-7. Breast cancer patients, with Basal or Claudin-low subtypes, also showed high expression of MCP-1. MCP-1 treatment induced cell invasion in various breast cancer cell types, without affecting cell proliferation. Small molecule antagonists against Chemokine Receptor 2 (CCR2), cognate receptor for MCP-1 as well as the MAP kinase pathway inhibitor U0126 negatively affected MCP-1 induced MCF-7 cell invasion. This suggests that MCP-1-CCR2 axis may regulate invasiveness via the MAP Kinase pathway. Knocking down MCP-1 decreased cell invasion in TNBC cell line BT-549, along with downregulation of key epithelial to mesenchymal transition markers, N-cadherin and Vimentin. CONCLUSION:Our study suggests that MCP-1 mediated pathways could be potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of TNBC, and could reduce cancer health disparities.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is one of the receptors that belong to the epidermal growth factor family of receptor tyrosine kinases (ErbBs). Several malignancies including breast cancer that express EGFR have poor prognosis. Our study examined the EGFR expression among 5176 breast cancer patients from GSE96058 and METABRIC cohorts and the contribution of tumor immune microenvironment in different subtypes. We found that among different breast cancer subtypes, EGFR expression in TNBC was the highest compared to other subtypes. EGFR high ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer had significantly higher survival compared to EGFR low ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. It was also associated with high level of intratumor heterogeneity and homologous recombination defects (HRD). This group was also enriched in immune-related gene sets. On the other hand, low EGFR tumor was enriched in cell proliferation-related gene sets. However, these findings were not observed in TNBC. Interestingly, there was a greater infiltration of anti-cancer immune cells in high EGFR ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancers, while, TNBC with higher EGFR expression had lower fraction of immune cells along with low level of cytolytic activity. Tumor cells have significantly higher EGFR expression compared to immune cells in single cell sequencing data. There was higher expression of immune checkpoint molecules in high EGFR ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer but lower expression in TNBC. High EGFR metastatic tumor was significantly associated with worse survival, but no association with infiltrating immune cells was observed. Our study shows that higher EGFR expression in ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer is associated with improved outcomes and an anti-cancer immune microenvironment.
Project description:PURPOSE:The aim of this study was to assess protein tyrosine kinase profiles in primary breast cancer samples in correlation with the distinct hormone and growth receptor profiles ER, PR, and HER2. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Pamchip® microarrays were used to measure the phosphorylation of 144 tyrosine kinase substrates in 29 ER+?breast cancer samples and cell lines MCF7, BT474 and ZR75-1. mRNA expression data from the METABRIC cohort and publicly available PR chip-sequencing data were used for validation purposes, together with RT-PCR. RESULTS:In ER+ breast tumors and cell lines, we observed that the loss of PR expression correlated to higher kinase activity in samples and cell lines that were HER2-. A number of kinases, representing mostly proteins within the PI3K/AKT pathway, were identified as responsible for the differential phosphorylation between PR- and PR+ in ER+/HER2- tumors. We used the METABRIC cohort to analyze mRNA expression from 977 ER+/HER2- breast cancers. Twenty four kinase-encoding genes were identified as differentially expressed between PR+ and PR-, dividing ER+/HER2- samples in two distinct clusters with significant differences in survival (p?<?0.05). Four kinase genes, LCK, FRK, FGFR4, and MST1R, were identified as potential direct targets of PR. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that the PR status has a profound effect on tyrosine kinases, especially for FGFR4 and LCK genes, in ER+/HER2- breast cancer patients. The influence of these genes on the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway may potentially lead to novel drug targets for ER+/PR- breast cancer patients.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive clinical subtype of breast cancer that is characterized by the lack of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) expression as well as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression. The TNBC subtype constitutes approximately 10%-20% of all breast cancers, but has no effective molecular targeted therapies. Previous meta-analysis of gene expression profiles of 587 TNBC cases from 21 studies demonstrated high expression of Wnt signaling pathway-associated genes in basal-like 2 and mesenchymal subtypes of TNBC. In this study, we investigated the potential of Wnt pathway inhibitors in effective treatment of TNBC.Activation of Wnt pathway was assessed in four TNBC cell lines (BT-549, MDA-MB-231, HCC-1143 and HCC-1937), and the ER+ cell line MCF-7 using confocal microscopy and Western blot analysis of pathway components. Effectiveness of five different Wnt pathway inhibitors (iCRT-3, iCRT-5, iCRT-14, IWP-4 and XAV-939) on cell proliferation and apoptosis were tested in vitro. The inhibitory effects of iCRT-3 on canonical Wnt signaling in TNBC was evaluated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis of Axin2 and dual-luciferase reporter assays. The effects of shRNA knockdown of SOX4 in combination with iCRT-3 and/or genistein treatments on cell proliferation, migration and invasion on BT-549 cells were also evaluated.Immunofluorescence staining of ?-catenin in TNBC cell lines showed both nuclear and cytoplasmic localization, indicating activation of Wnt pathway in TNBC cells. iCRT-3 was the most effective compound for inhibiting proliferation and antagonizing Wnt signaling in TNBC cells. In addition, treatment with iCRT-3 resulted in increased apoptosis in vitro. Knockdown of the Wnt pathway transcription factor, SOX4 in triple negative BT-549 cells resulted in decreased cell proliferation and migration, and combination treatment of iCRT-3 with SOX4 knockdown had a synergistic effect on inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis.These data suggest that targeting SOX4 and/or the Wnt pathway could have therapeutic benefit for TNBC patients.
Project description:Cholesterol-in particular, high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and its metabolite, 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC)-is correlated with increases in the risks of breast cancer and obesity. Although the high expression of LDL/27-OHC has been reported in breast cancer, its effects and mechanism of action remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we found that the effects of LDL on cell proliferation were mediated by the activation of the cytochrome P450 enzyme, sterol 27 hydroxylase, and cholesterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1) in both ER-α-positive and ER-α-negative breast cancer cells. We found that treatment with 27-OHC only increased cell growth in oestrogen receptor-α (ER-α)-positive breast cancer cells in an ER-α-dependent manner, but, interestingly, the effects of 27-OHC on cell migration and invasion were independent of ER-α. Using ER-α-negative MDA-MB-231 cells, we found that 27-OHC similarly promoted cell invasion and migration, and this was mediated by oestrogen receptor β (ER-β). These results suggest that 27-OHC promotes breast cancer cell proliferation in ER-α-positive breast cancer cells via ER-α, but migration and invasion are mediated via ER-β in ER-α positive and negative cell lines. The addition of LDL/27OHC increased the production of IGF-I and the abundance of IGF-IR in TNBC. We further found that modulating ER-β using an agonist or antagonist increased or decreased, respectively, levels of the IGF-I and EGF receptors in TNBC. The inhibition of the insulin-like growth factor receptor blocked the effects of cholesterol on cell growth and the migration of TNBC. Using TCGA and METABRIC microarray expression data from invasive breast cancer carcinomas, we also observed that higher levels of ER-beta were associated with higher levels of IGF-IR. Thus, this study shows novel evidence that ER-β is central to the effects of LDL/27OHC on invasion, migration, and the IGF and EGF axes. Our data suggest that targeting ER-β in TNBC could be an alternative approach for downregulating IGF/EGF signalling and controlling the impact of LDL in breast cancer patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, divided into subtypes based on the expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Subtypes have different biology and prognosis, with accumulating evidence of different risk factors. The purpose of this study was to compare breast cancer risk factors across tumor subtypes in a large, diverse mammography population.<h4>Methods</h4>Women aged 40-84 without a history of breast cancer with a screening mammogram at three United States health systems from 2006 to 2015 were included. Risk factor questionnaires were completed at mammogram visit, supplemented by electronic health records. Invasive tumor subtype was defined by immunohistochemistry as ER/PR+HER2-, ER/PR+HER2+, ER, and PR-HER2+, or triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Cox proportional hazards models were run for each subtype. Associations of race, reproductive history, prior breast problems, family history, breast density, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed. The association of tumor subtypes with screen detection and interval cancer was assessed using logistic regression among invasive cases.<h4>Results</h4>The study population included 198,278 women with a median of 6.5 years of follow-up (IQR 4.2-9.0 years). There were 4002 invasive cancers, including 3077 (77%) ER/PR+HER2-, 300 (8%) TNBC, 342 (9%) ER/PR+HER2+, and 126 (3%) ER/PR-HER2+ subtype. In multivariate models, Black women had 2.7 times higher risk of TNBC than white women (HR = 2.67, 95% CI 1.99-3.58). Breast density was associated with increased risk of all subtypes. BMI was more strongly associated with ER/PR+HER2- and HER2+ subtypes among postmenopausal women than premenopausal women. Breast density was more strongly associated with ER/PR+HER2- and TNBC among premenopausal than postmenopausal women. TNBC was more likely to be interval cancer than other subtypes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results have implications for risk assessment and understanding of the etiology of breast cancer subtypes. More research is needed to determine what factors explain the higher risk of TNBC for Black women.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in the cancer immune landscape and their potential as treatment targets or modulators of response to treatment are gaining increasing interest. TAMs display high molecular and functional complexity. Therefore their objective assessment as breast cancer biomarkers is critical. The aims of this study were to objectively determine the in situ expression and significance of TAM biomarkers (CD68, CD163, and MMP-9) in breast cancer and to identify subclasses of patients who could benefit from TAM-targeting therapies. METHODS:We measured CD68, CD163, and MMP-9 protein expression in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues of breast carcinomas represented in tissue microarray format using multiplexed quantitative immunofluorescence (QIF) in two independent Yale cohorts: cohort A-n = 398, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and ER- cases-and the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)-only cohort B (n = 160). Associations between macrophage markers, ER status, and survival were assessed. Protein expression measured by QIF was compared with mRNA expression data from the METABRIC study. RESULTS:All three macrophage markers were co-expressed, displaying higher expression in ER- cancers. High pan-macrophage marker CD68 correlated with poorer overall survival (OS) only in ER- cases of cohort A (P = 0.02). High expression of CD163 protein in TAMs was associated with improved OS in ER- cases (cohort A, P = 0.03 and TNBC cohort B, P = 0.04, respectively) but not in ER+ cancers. MMP-9 protein was not individually associated with OS. High expression of MMP-9 in the CD68+/CD163+ TAMs was associated with worse OS in ER+ tumors (P <0.001) but not in ER- cancers. In the METABRIC dataset, mRNA levels followed the co-expression pattern observed in QIF but did not always show the same trend regarding OS. CONCLUSIONS:Macrophage activity markers correlate with survival differently in ER+ and ER- cancers. The association between high co-expression and co-localization of MMP-9/CD163/CD68 and poor survival in ER+ cancers suggests that these cancers may be candidates for macrophage-targeted therapies.
Project description:Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, progesterone receptor (PR)-negative and HER2-negative, or "triple negative," breast cancer (TNBC) is a poor prognosis clinical subtype that occurs more frequently in younger women and is commonly treated with toxic chemotherapy. Effective targeted therapy for TNBC is urgently needed. Our previous studies have identified several kinases critical for TNBC growth. Since phosphatases regulate the function of kinase signaling pathways, we sought to identify critical growth-regulatory phosphatases that are expressed differentially in ER-negative, as compared to ER-positive, breast cancers. In this study, we examined the role of one of these differentially expressed phosphatases, the protein phosphatase Mg?+?2/Mn?+?2 dependent 1A (<i>PPM1A</i>) which is underexpressed in ER-negative breast cancer as compared to ER-positive breast cancers, in regulating TNBC growth. We found that PPM1A is deleted in ~40% of ER-negative breast cancers, and that induced expression of PPM1A suppresses in vitro and in vivo growth of TNBC cells. This study demonstrates that induction of PPM1A expression blocks the cell cycle and reduces CDK and Rb phosphorylation. These results suggest PPM1A is a crucial regulator of cell cycle progression in triple negative breast cancer. Our results also suggest that PPM1A loss should be explored as a predictive biomarker of CDK inhibitor sensitivity.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive breast cancer subtype lacking expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and HER2, thus limiting therapy options. We hypothesized that meta-analysis of TNBC gene expression profiles would illuminate mechanisms underlying the aggressive nature of this disease and identify therapeutic targets. Meta-analysis in the Oncomine database identified 206 genes that were recurrently deregulated in TNBC compared with non-TNBC and in tumors that metastasized or led to death within 5 years. This 'aggressiveness gene list' was enriched for two core functions/metagenes: chromosomal instability (CIN) and ER signaling metagenes. We calculated an 'aggressiveness score' as the ratio of the CIN metagene to the ER metagene, which identified aggressive tumors in breast cancer data sets regardless of subtype or other clinico-pathological indicators. A score calculated from six genes from the CIN metagene and two genes from the ER metagene recapitulated the aggressiveness score. By multivariate survival analysis, we show that our aggressiveness scores (from 206 genes or the 8 representative genes) outperformed several published prognostic signatures. Small interfering RNA screen revealed that the CIN metagene holds therapeutic targets against TNBC. Particularly, the inhibition of TTK significantly reduced the survival of TNBC cells and synergized with docetaxel in vitro. Importantly, mitosis-independent expression of TTK protein was associated with aggressive subgroups, poor survival and further stratified outcome within grade 3, lymph node-positive, HER2-positive and TNBC patients. In conclusion, we identified the core components of CIN and ER metagenes that identify aggressive breast tumors and have therapeutic potential in TNBC and aggressive breast tumors. Prognostication from these metagenes at the mRNA level was limited to ER-positive tumors. However, we provide evidence that mitosis-independent expression of TTK protein was prognostic in TNBC and other aggressive breast cancer subgroups, suggesting that protection of CIN/aneuploidy drives aggressiveness and treatment resistance.