Title

Cyclin E overexpression confers resistance to trastuzumab through noncanonical phosphorylation of SMAD3 in HER2+ breast cancer

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-14-2020

Publication Title

Cancer biology & therapy

Abstract

The efficacy of trastuzumab, a treatment for HER2+ breast cancer, can be limited by the development of resistance. Cyclin E (CCNE) overexpression has been implicated in trastuzumab resistance. We sought to uncover a potential mechanism for this trastuzumab resistance and focused on a model of CCNE overexpressing HER2+ breast cancer and noncanonical phosphorylation of the TGF-β signaling protein, SMAD3. Network analysis of transcriptional activity in a HER2+, CCNE overexpressing, trastuzumab-resistant cell line (BT474R2) identified decreased SMAD3 activity was associated with treatment resistance. Immunoblotting showed SMAD3 expression was significantly downregulated in BT474R2 cells (p < .01), and noncanonical phosphorylation of SMAD3 was increased in these CCNE-overexpressing cells. Also, in response to CDK2 inhibition, expression patterns linked to restored canonical SMAD3 signaling, including decreased cMyc and increased cyclin-dependent inhibitor, p15, were identified. The BT474R2 cell line was modified through overexpression of SMAD3 (BT474R2-SMAD3), a mutant construct resistant to CCNE-mediated noncanonical phosphorylation of SMAD3 (BT474R2-5M), and a control (BT474R2-Blank). In vitro studies examining the response to trastuzumab showed increased sensitivity to treatment for BT474R2-5M cells. These findings were then validated in NSG mice inoculated with BT474R2-5M cells or BT474R2 control cells. After treatment with trastuzumab, the NSG mice inoculated with BT474R2-5M cells developed significantly lower tumor volumes (p < .001), when compared to mice inoculated with BT474R2 cells. Taken together, these results indicate that for patients with HER2+ breast cancer, a mechanism of CCNE-mediated trastuzumab resistance, regulated through noncanonical SMAD3 phosphorylation, could be treated with CDK2 inhibition to help enhance the efficacy of trastuzumab therapy.

PubMed ID

33054513

ePublication

ePub ahead of print

First Page

1

Last Page

11

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