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North Bethesda, MD, United States

Sosa M.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Lopez-Haber C.,University of Pennsylvania | Yang C.,Michigan State University | Wang H.,University of Pennsylvania | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2010

While the small GTPase Rac1 and its effectors are well-established mediators of mitogenic and motile signaling by tyrosine kinase receptors and have been implicated in breast tumorigenesis, little is known regarding the exchange factors (Rac-GEFs) that mediate ErbB receptor responses. Here, we identify the PIP3-Gβγ-dependent Rac-GEF P-Rex1 as an essential mediator of Rac1 activation, motility, cell growth, and tumorigenesis driven by ErbB receptors in breast cancer cells. Notably, activation of P-Rex1 in breast cancer cells requires the convergence of inputs from ErbB receptors and a Gβγ- and PI3Kγ-dependent pathway. Moreover, we identified the GPCR CXCR4 as a crucial mediator of P-Rex1/Rac1 activation in response to ErbB ligands. P-Rex1 is highly overexpressed in human breast cancers and their derived cell lines, particularly those with high ErbB2 and ER expression. In addition to the prognostic and therapeutic implications, our findings reveal an ErbB effector pathway that is crucial for breast cancer progression. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Bian Y.,National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research | Bian Y.,National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders | Hall B.,National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research | Sun Z.-J.,National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research | And 5 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

The molecular mechanisms that contribute to the initiation and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not been completely delineated. Our observations indicate that defects in the transforming growth factor-β and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways are common in human HNSCCs. Conditional activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway due to Pten deletion in the mouse head and neck epithelia gives rise to hyperproliferation, but only a few lesions progress to HNSCC. However, Pten-deficient mice developed full-penetrance HNSCC in combination with type I TGF-β receptor (Tgfbr1) deletion. Molecular analysis revealed enhanced cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and increased expression of CCND1 in the basal layer of the head and neck epithelia, as well as in the tumors of Tgfbr1/Pten double conditional knockout (2cKO) mice. Furthermore, neoplastic transformation involves senescence evasion, and is associated with an increased number of putative cancer stem cells. In addition, the nuclear factor-κB pathway activation, myeloid-derived suppressor cell infiltration, angiogenesis and immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, all of which are characteristics of human HNSCCs, contribute significantly to head and neck carcinogenesis in 2cKO mice. These tumors display pathology and multiple molecular alterations resembling human HNSCCs. This suggests that the Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mouse model is suitable for preclinical intervention, and that it has significant implications in the development of diagnostic cancer biomarkers and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of HNSCCs. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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