Project description:Metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity are relevant negative prognostic factor in patients with breast cancer (BC). We have investigated the mechanisms through which elevated glucose levels affect tamoxifen sensitivity of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) BC cells. We found that MCF7 BC cell sensitivity to tamoxifen was 2-fold reduced in 25mM glucose (HG), a concentration mimicking hyperglycaemia, compared to 5.5 mM glucose (LG), resembling normal fasting glucose levels in humans. Shifting MCF7 cells from HG to LG ameliorated their responsiveness to tamoxifen. RNA-Sequencing revealed that glucose modified the transcriptome of MCF7 cells. In particular, cell cycle-related genes were affected by glucose. Combining gene specific knockdown and treatment with human recombinant proteins, we identified the Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF) as glucose-induced factor able to reduce MCF7 cell sensitivity to tamoxifen. Moreover, we found that both CTGF expression levels and tamoxifen responsiveness were enhanced co-culturing MCF7 cells with human adipocytes through an Interleukin-8 (IL8)-mediated mechanism. Indeed, IL8 inhibition reduced CTGF levels and rescued tamoxifen sensitivity in MCF7 cells. Interestingly, CTGF immuno-detection in bioptic specimens obtained from women with ER+ BC correlated with distant metastases (P-value = 0.000), hormone therapy resistance (P-value = 0.000), reduced overall (P-value = 0.051) and disease free survival (P-value = 0.000). Thus, glucose affects tamoxifen responsiveness directly modulating CTGF in BC cells, and indirectly promoting the adipocytes’ release of IL8. Both CTGF and IL8 may represent potential targets in novel therapeutic strategies to increase tamoxifen sensitivity. Overall design: The gene expression profile of MCF7 cells grown in high glucose and then shifted in low glucose (HG→LG; n=1) were compared to MCF7 cells grown in high glucose (HG; n=1).
Project description:G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1) is a seven-transmembrane receptor that mediates rapid cell signaling events stimulated by estrogens. While the role that GPER1 has in the modulation of E2-responsive tissues and cancers is well documented, the molecular mechanisms that regulate GPER1 expression are currently not well defined. The recently identified GPER1-dependent mechanism of tamoxifen action in breast cancer cells underscores the importance of identifying mechanisms that regulate GPER1 expression in this cell type. We hypothesized that GPER1 expression in breast cancer cells is sensitive to [D-glucose] and provide data showing increased GPER1 expression when cells were cultured in low [D-glucose]. To determine if the observed accumulation of GPER1 was AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent, small molecule stimulation or inhibition of AMPK was performed. AMPK inhibition decreased GPER1 accumulation in cells grown in low [D-glucose] while the AMPK-activating compound AICAR increased GPER1 accumulation in cells grown in high [D-glucose] media. Additionally, transfection of cells with a plasmid expressing constitutively active AMPK resulted in increased GPER1 accumulation. To determine if [D-glucose]-dependent GPER1 accumulation altered breast cancer cell response to tamoxifen, cells grown in the presence of decreasing [D-glucose] were co-treated with tamoxifen and IGFBP-1 transcription was measured. The results from these experiments reveal that D-glucose deprivation increased GPER1-mediated and tamoxifen-induced IGFBP-1 transcription suggesting that [D-glucose] may increase breast cancer cell sensitivity to tamoxifen. Taken together, these results identify a previously unknown mechanism that regulates GPER1 expression that modifies one aspect tamoxifen action in breast cancer cells.
Project description:Tamoxifen is a successful endocrine therapy drug for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. However, resistance to tamoxifen compromises the efficacy of endocrine treatment. In the present study, we identified potential tamoxifen resistance-related gene markers and investigated their mechanistic details. First, we established two ER + breast cancer cell lines resistant to tamoxifen, named MCF-7/TMR and BT474/TMR. Gene expression profiling showed that CXXC finger protein 4 (CXXC4) expression is lower in MCF-7/TMR cells than in MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, CXXC4 mRNA and protein expression are lower in the resistant cell lines than in the corresponding parental cell lines. We also investigated the correlation between CXXC4 and endocrine resistance in ER + breast cancer cells. CXXC4 knockdown accelerates cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo and renders breast cancer cells insensitive to tamoxifen, whereas CXXC4 overexpression inhibits cancer cell growth and increases tamoxifen sensitivity of resistant cells. In addition, we demonstrated that CXXC4 inhibits Wnt/?-catenin signaling in cancer cells by modulating the phosphorylation of GSK-3?, influencing the integrity of the ?-catenin degradation complex. Silencing the CXXC4 gene upregulates expression of cyclinD1 and c-myc (the downstream targets of Wnt signaling) and promotes cell cycle progression. Conversely, ectopic expression of CXXC4 downregulates the expression of these proteins and arrests the cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase. Finally, the small-molecule inhibitor XAV939 suppresses Wnt signaling and sensitizes resistant cells to tamoxifen. These results indicate that components of Wnt pathway that are early in response to tamoxifen could be involved as an intrinsic factor of the transition to endocrine resistance, and inhibition of Wnt signaling may be an effective therapeutic strategy to overcome tamoxifen resistance.
Project description:Tamoxifen provided a successful treatment for ER-positive breast cancer for many years. However, HER2 overexpressing breast cancer cells respond poorly to tamoxifen therapy presumably by pass. The molecular mechanisms underlying development of tamoxifen resistance have not been well established. Recently, we reported that breast cancer cells with high levels of ER-?36, a variant of ER-?, were resistant to tamoxifen and knockdown of ER-?36 expression in tamoxifen resistant cells with the shRNA method restored tamoxifen sensitivity, indicating that gained ER-?36 expression is one of the underlying mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance. Here, we found that tamoxifen induced expression of ER-?36-EGFR/HER2 positive regulatory loops and tamoxifen resistant MCF7 cells (MCF7/TAM) expressed enhanced levels of the loops. Disruption of the ER-?36-EGFR/HER2 positive regulatory loops with the dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor Lapatinib or ER-?36 down-regulator Broussoflavonol B in tamoxifen resistant MCF7 cells restored tamoxifen sensitivity. In addition, we also found both Lapatinib and Broussoflavonol B increased the growth inhibitory activity of tamoxifen in tumorsphere cells derived from MCF7/TAM cells. Our results thus demonstrated that elevated expression of the ER-?36-EGFR/HER2 loops is one of the mechanisms by which ER-positive breast cancer cells escape tamoxifen therapy. Our results thus provided a rational to develop novel therapeutic approaches for tamoxifen resistant patients by targeting the ER-?36-EGFR/HER2 loops.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tamoxifen resistance presents a huge clinical challenge for breast cancer patients. An understanding of the mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance can guide development of efficient therapies to prevent drug resistance. METHODS:We first tested whether peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) may be involved in tamoxifen-resistance in breast cancer cells. The effect of depleting or inhibiting PAD2 in tamoxifen-resistant MCF-7 (MCF7/TamR) cells was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. We then investigated the potential of Cl-amidine, a PAD inhibitor, to be used in combination with tamoxifen or docetaxel, and further explored the mechanism of the synergistic and effective drug regimen of PADs inhibitor and docetaxel on tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. RESULTS:We report that PAD2 is dramatically upregulated in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer. Depletion of PAD2 in MCF7/TamR cells facilitated the sensitivity of MCF7/TamR cells to tamoxifen. Moreover, miRNA-125b-5p negatively regulated PAD2 expression in MCF7/TamR cells, therefore overexpression of miR-125b-5p also increased the cell sensitivity to tamoxifen. Furthermore, inhibiting PAD2 with Cl-amidine not only partially restored the sensitivity of MCF7/TamR cells to tamoxifen, but also more efficiently enhanced the efficacy of docetaxel on MCF7/TamR cells with lower doses of Cl-amidine and docetaxel both in vivo and in vivo. We then showed that combination treatment with Cl-amidine and docetaxel enhanced p53 nuclear accumulation, which synergistically induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Meanwhile, p53 activation in the combination treatment also accelerated autophagy processes by synergistically decreasing the activation of Akt/mTOR signaling, thus enhancing the inhibition of proliferation. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that PAD2 functions as an important new biomarker for tamoxifen-resistant breast cancers and that inhibiting PAD2 combined with docetaxel may offer a new approach to treatment of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancers.
Project description:Resistance to antiestrogens is one of the major challenges in breast cancer treatment. Although phosphorylation of estrogen receptor ? (ER?) is an important factor in endocrine resistance, the contributions of specific kinases in endocrine resistance are still not fully understood. Here, we report that an important innate immune response kinase, the I?B kinase-related TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), is a crucial determinant of resistance to tamoxifen therapies. We show that TBK1 increases ER? transcriptional activity through phosphorylation modification of ER? at the Ser-305 site. Ectopic TBK1 expression impairs the responsiveness of breast cancer cells to tamoxifen. By studying the specimens from patients with breast cancer, we find a strong positive correlation of TBK1 with ER?, ER? Ser-305, and cyclin D1. Notably, patients with tumors highly expressing TBK1 respond poorly to tamoxifen treatment and show high potential for relapse. Therefore, our findings suggest that TBK1 contributes to tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer via phosphorylation modification of ER?.
Project description:BACKGROUNDS:Tamoxifen is typically used to treat patients with estrogen receptor alpha (ER?)-positive breast cancer. However, 30% of these patients gain acquired resistance to tamoxifen during or after tamoxifen treatment. As a Ras modulator, Nogo-B receptor (NgBR) is required for tumorigenesis through the signaling crosstalk with epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR)-mediated pathways. NgBR is highly expressed in many types of cancer cells and regulates the sensitivity of hepatocellular carcinoma to chemotherapy. In this study, we found the expression of NgBR is increased in tamoxifen-resistant ER?-positive breast cancer cells. METHODS:Tamoxifen-resistant ER?-positive MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cell lines were established by culturing with gradually increased concentration of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT). The effects of NgBR on tamoxifen resistance was determined by depleting NgBR in these cell lines using previously validated small interfering RNA (siRNA). The effects of 4-OHT on cell viability and apoptosis were determined using well-accepted methods such as clonogenic survival assay and Annexin V/propidium iodide staining. The alteration of EGF-stimulated signaling and gene expression was determined by western blot analysis and real-time PCR, respectively. RESULTS:NgBR knockdown with siRNA attenuates EGF-induced phosphorylation of ER? and restores the sensitivity to tamoxifen in ER?-positive breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, our data demonstrated that NgBR knockdown increases the protein levels of p53 and decreases survivin, which is an apoptosis inhibitor. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggested that NgBR is a potential therapeutic target for increasing the sensitivity of ER?-positive breast cancer to tamoxifen.
Project description:Intrinsic or acquired resistance to hormone therapy is frequently reported in estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer patients. Even though dysregulations of histone deacetylases (HDACs) are known to promote cancer cells survival, the role of different HDACs in the induction of hormone therapy resistance in ER+ breast cancer remains unclear. Survivin is a well-known pro-tumor survival molecule and miR-125a-5p is a recently discovered tumor suppressor. In this study, we found that ER+, hormone-independent, tamoxifen-resistant MCF7-TamC3 cells exhibit increased expression of HDAC2, HDAC5, and survivin, but show decreased expression of miR-125a-5p, as compared to the parental tamoxifen-sensitive MCF7 breast cancer cells. Molecular down-regulations of HDAC2, HDAC5, and survivin, and ectopic over-expression of miR-125a-5p, increased the sensitivity of MCF7-TamC3 cells to estrogen deprivation and restored the sensitivity to tamoxifen. The same treatments also further increased the sensitivity to estrogen-deprivation in the ER+ hormone-dependent ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells in vitro. Kaplan-Meier analysis and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of expression cohorts of breast tumor showed that high HDAC2 and survivin, and low miR-125a-5p, expression levels correlate with poor relapse-free survival in endocrine therapy and tamoxifen-treated ER+ breast cancer patients. Further molecular analysis revealed that HDAC2 and HDAC5 positively modulates the expression of survivin, and negatively regulates the expression miR-125a-5p, in ER+ MCF7, MCF7-TamC3, and ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells. These findings indicate that dysregulations of HDAC2 and HDAC5 promote the development of hormone independency and tamoxifen resistance in ERC breast cancer cells in part through expression regulation of survivin and miR-125a-5p.