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Hansen S.N.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | Hansen S.N.,Copenhagen University | Ehlers N.S.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | Ehlers N.S.,Technical University of Denmark | And 30 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2016

Background: Resistance to taxane-based therapy in breast cancer patients is a major clinical problem that may be addressed through insight of the genomic alterations leading to taxane resistance in breast cancer cells. In the current study we used whole exome sequencing to discover somatic genomic alterations, evolving across evolutionary stages during the acquisition of docetaxel resistance in breast cancer cell lines. Results: Two human breast cancer in vitro models (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) of the step-wise acquisition of docetaxel resistance were developed by exposing cells to 18 gradually increasing concentrations of docetaxel. Whole exome sequencing performed at five successive stages during this process was used to identify single point mutational events, insertions/deletions and copy number alterations associated with the acquisition of docetaxel resistance. Acquired coding variation undergoing positive selection and harboring characteristics likely to be functional were further prioritized using network-based approaches. A number of genomic changes were found to be undergoing evolutionary selection, some of which were likely to be functional. Of the five stages of progression toward resistance, most resistance relevant genomic variation appeared to arise midway towards fully resistant cells corresponding to passage 31 (5 nM docetaxel) for MDA-MB-231 and passage 16 (1.2 nM docetaxel) for MCF-7, and where the cells also exhibited a period of reduced growth rate or arrest, respectively. MCF-7 cell acquired several copy number gains on chromosome 7, including ABC transporter genes, including ABCB1 and ABCB4, as well as DMTF1, CLDN12, CROT, and SRI. For MDA-MB-231 numerous copy number losses on chromosome X involving more than 30 genes was observed. Of these genes, CASK, POLA1, PRDX4, MED14 and PIGA were highly prioritized by the applied network-based gene ranking approach. At higher docetaxel concentration MCF-7 subclones exhibited a copy number loss in E2F4, and the gene encoding this important transcription factor was down-regulated in MCF-7 resistant cells. Conclusions: Our study of the evolution of acquired docetaxel resistance identified several genomic changes that might explain development of docetaxel resistance. Interestingly, the most relevant resistance-associated changes appeared to originate midway through the evolution towards fully resistant cell lines. Our data suggest that no single genomic event sufficiently predicts resistance to docetaxel, but require genomic alterations affecting multiple pathways that in concert establish the final resistance stage. © 2016 The Author(s). Source

Lin X.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | Lin X.,University of Aarhus | Li J.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | Li J.,University of Aarhus | And 18 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Introduction: Development of resistance to tamoxifen is an important clinical issue in the treatment of breast cancer. Tamoxifen resistance may be the result of acquisition of epigenetic regulation within breast cancer cells, such as DNA methylation, resulting in changed mRNA expression of genes pivotal for estrogen-dependent growth. Alternatively, tamoxifen resistance may be due to selection of pre-existing resistant cells, or a combination of the two mechanisms.Methods: To evaluate the contribution of these possible tamoxifen resistance mechanisms, we applied modified DNA methylation-specific digital karyotyping (MMSDK) and digital gene expression (DGE) in combination with massive parallel sequencing to analyze a well-established tamoxifen-resistant cell line model (TAMR), consisting of 4 resistant and one parental cell line. Another tamoxifen-resistant cell line model system (LCC1/LCC2) was used to validate the DNA methylation and gene expression results.Results: Significant differences were observed in global gene expression and DNA methylation profiles between the parental tamoxifen-sensitive cell line and the 4 tamoxifen-resistant TAMR sublines. The 4 TAMR cell lines exhibited higher methylation levels as well as an inverse relationship between gene expression and DNA methylation in the promoter regions. A panel of genes, including NRIP1, HECA and FIS1, exhibited lower gene expression in resistant vs. parental cells and concurrent increased promoter CGI methylation in resistant vs. parental cell lines. A major part of the methylation, gene expression, and pathway alterations observed in the TAMR model were also present in the LCC1/LCC2 cell line model. More importantly, high expression of SOX2 and alterations of other SOX and E2F gene family members, as well as RB-related pocket protein genes in TAMR highlighted stem cell-associated pathways as being central in the resistant cells and imply that cancer-initiating cells/cancer stem-like cells may be involved in tamoxifen resistance in this model.Conclusion: Our data highlight the likelihood that resistant cells emerge from cancer-initiating cells/cancer stem-like cells and imply that these cells may gain further advantage in growth via epigenetic mechanisms. Illuminating the expression and DNA methylation features of putative cancer-initiating cells/cancer stem cells may suggest novel strategies to overcome tamoxifen resistance. © 2013 Lin et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Bjerre C.,Copenhagen University | Bjerre C.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | Vinther L.,Copenhagen University | Vinther L.,Sino Danish Breast Cancer Research Center | And 23 more authors.
Tumor Biology | Year: 2013

High levels of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP1) are associated with poor prognosis, reduced response to chemotherapy, and, potentially, also poor response to endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients. Our objective was to further investigate the hypothesis that TIMP1 is associated with endocrine sensitivity. We established a panel of 11 MCF-7 subclones with a wide range of TIMP1 mRNA and protein expression levels. Cells with high expression of TIMP1 versus low TIMP1 displayed significantly reduced sensitivity to the antiestrogen fulvestrant (ICI 182,780, Faslodex®), while TIMP1 levels did not influence the sensitivity to 4-hydroxytamoxifen. An inverse correlation between expression of the progesterone receptor and TIMP1 was found, but TIMP1 levels did not correlate with estrogen receptor levels or growth-promoting effects of estrogen (estradiol, E2). Additionally, the effects of fulvestrant, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, or estrogen on estrogen receptor expression were not associated with TIMP1 levels. Gene expression analyses revealed associations between expression of TIMP1 and genes involved in metabolic pathways, epidermal growth factor receptor 1/cancer signaling pathways, and cell cycle. Gene and protein expression analyses showed no general defects in estrogen receptor signaling except from lack of progesterone receptor expression and estrogen inducibility in clones with high TIMP1. The present study suggests a relation between high expression level of TIMP1 and loss of progesterone receptor expression combined with fulvestrant resistance. Our findings in vitro may have clinical implications as the data suggest that high tumor levels of TIMP1 may be a predictive biomarker for reduced response to fulvestrant. © 2013 International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM). Source

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