EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

PloS one

TTK/hMPS1 is an attractive therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancer.


PMID 23700430

Abstract

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents a subgroup of breast cancers (BC) associated with the most aggressive clinical behavior. No targeted therapy is currently available for the treatment of patients with TNBC. In order to discover potential therapeutic targets, we searched for protein kinases that are overexpressed in human TNBC biopsies and whose silencing in TNBC cell lines causes cell death. A cohort including human BC biopsies obtained at Institut Curie as well as normal tissues has been analyzed at a gene-expression level. The data revealed that the human protein kinase monopolar spindle 1 (hMPS1), also known as TTK and involved in mitotic checkpoint, is specifically overexpressed in TNBC, compared to the other BC subgroups and healthy tissues. We confirmed by immunohistochemistry and reverse phase protein array that TNBC expressed higher levels of TTK protein compared to the other BC subgroups. We then determined the biological effects of TTK depletion by RNA interference, through analyses of tumorigenic capacity and cell viability in different human TNBC cell lines. We found that RNAi-mediated depletion of TTK in various TNBC cell lines severely compromised their viability and their ability to form colonies in an anchorage-independent manner. Moreover, we observed that TTK silencing led to an increase in H2AX phosphorylation, activation of caspases 3/7, sub-G1 cell population accumulation and high annexin V staining, as well as to a decrease in G1 phase cell population and an increased aneuploidy. Altogether, these data indicate that TTK depletion in TNBC cells induces apoptosis. These results point out TTK as a protein kinase overexpressed in TNBC that may represent an attractive therapeutic target specifically for this poor prognosis associated subgroup of breast cancer.