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Molecular cancer research : MCR

Constitutively active ErbB2 regulates cisplatin-induced cell death in breast cancer cells via pro- and antiapoptotic mechanisms.


PMID 25143433

Abstract

Despite the frequent expression of N-terminally truncated ErbB2 (ΔNErbB2/p95HER2) in breast cancer and its association with Herceptin resistance and poor prognosis, it remains poorly understood how ΔNErbB2 affects chemotherapy-induced cell death. Previously it was shown that ΔNErbB2 upregulates acid extrusion from MCF-7 breast cancer cells and that inhibition of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (SLC9A1/NHE1) strongly sensitizes ΔNErbB2-expressing MCF-7 cells to cisplatin chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to identify the mechanism through which ΔNErbB2 regulates cisplatin-induced breast cancer cell death, and determine how NHE1 regulates this process. Cisplatin treatment elicited apoptosis, ATM phosphorylation, upregulation of p53, Noxa (PMAIP1), and PUMA (BBC3), and cleavage of caspase-9, -7, fodrin, and PARP-1 in MCF-7 cells. Inducible ΔNErbB2 expression strongly reduced cisplatin-induced ATM- and p53-phosphorylation, augmented Noxa upregulation and caspase-9 and -7 cleavage, doubled p21(WAF1/Cip1) (CDKN1A) expression, and nearly abolished Bcl-2 expression. LC3-GFP analysis demonstrated that autophagic flux was reduced by cisplatin in a manner augmented by ΔNErbB2, yet did not contribute to cisplatin-induced death. Using knockdown approaches, it was shown that cisplatin-induced caspase-7 cleavage in ΔNErbB2-MCF-7 cells was Noxa- and caspase-9 dependent. This pathway was augmented by NHE1 inhibition, while the Na(+)/HCO3 (-) cotransporter (SLC4A7/NBCn1) was internalized following cisplatin exposure. This work reveals that ΔNErbB2 strongly affects several major pro- and antiapoptotic pathways and provides mechanistic insight into the role of NHE1 in chemotherapy resistance. These findings have relevance for defining therapy regimens in breast cancers with ΔNErbB2 and/or NHE1 overexpression.