Cancer research

Src Inhibition Blocks c-Myc Translation and Glucose Metabolism to Prevent the Development of Breast Cancer.

PMID 26383165


Preventing breast cancer will require the development of targeted strategies that can effectively block disease progression. Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors are effective in addressing estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) breast cancer development, but estrogen receptor-negative (ER(-)) breast cancer remains an unmet challenge due to gaps in pathobiologic understanding. In this study, we used reverse-phase protein array to identify activation of Src kinase as an early signaling alteration in premalignant breast lesions of women who did not respond to tamoxifen, a widely used ER antagonist for hormonal therapy of breast cancer. Src kinase blockade with the small-molecule inhibitor saracatinib prevented the disorganized three-dimensional growth of ER(-) mammary epithelial cells in vitro and delayed the development of premalignant lesions and tumors in vivo in mouse models developing HER2(+) and ER(-) mammary tumors, extending tumor-free and overall survival. Mechanistic investigations revealed that Src blockade reduced glucose metabolism as a result of an inhibition in ERK1/2-MNK1-eIF4E-mediated cap-dependent translation of c-Myc and transcription of the glucose transporter GLUT1, thereby limiting energy available for cell growth. Taken together, our results provide a sound rationale to target Src pathways in premalignant breast lesions to limit the development of breast cancers.