University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cancer Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine

Date

4-2013

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Breast Neoplasms; Oncogene Proteins; Trans-Activators; Neoplastic Stem Cells

Disciplines

Cancer Biology | Neoplasms

Abstract

The characterization of cells with tumour initiating potential is significant for advancing our understanding of cancer and improving therapy. Aggressive, triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are enriched for tumour-initiating cells (TICs). We investigated that hypothesis that VEGF receptors expressed on TNBC cells mediate autocrine signalling that contributes to tumour initiation. We discovered the VEGF receptor neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is expressed preferentially on TICs, involved in the genesis of TNBCs and necessary for tumour initiation. The mechanism by which NRP2 signalling promotes tumour initiation involves stimulation of the alpha6beta1 integrin, focal adhesion kinase-mediated activation of Ras/MEK signalling and consequent expression of the Hedgehog effector GLI1. GLI1 also induces BMI-1, a key stem cell factor, and it enhances NRP2 expression and the function of alpha6beta1, establishing an autocrine loop. NRP2 can be targeted in vivo to retard tumour initiation. These findings reveal a novel autocrine pathway involving VEGF/NRP2, alpha6beta1 and GLI1 that contributes to the initiation of TNBC. They also support the feasibility of NRP2-based therapy for the treatment of TNBC that targets and impedes the function of TICs. of EMBO.

Comments

Citation: EMBO Mol Med. 2013 Apr;5(4):488-508. doi: 10.1002/emmm.201202078. Link to article on publisher's site

Copyright 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

UMCCTS funding

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