Hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) is a direct regulator of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer.

PMID 28038470


Clinical studies in breast cancer suggest important associations between intratumoral hypoxia, the upregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or HER1), hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), and reduced patient survival. However, direct molecular links between EGFR and the hypoxia signaling system are not yet established. Since the oxygen sensor hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) is considered to be the main HIF-1α regulator, we hypothesized that PHD2 and EGFR may be interconnected at the molecular level. By analyzing samples from 313 breast cancer patients, we found that EGFR is a first clinicopathological parameter positively correlating with PHD2. Mechanistically, we identified PHD2 as a direct binding partner of EGFR and show that PHD2 regulates EGFR stability as well as its subsequent signaling in breast carcinoma cells. Overall, we introduce for the first time the direct crosstalk between the oxygen sensor PHD2 and EGFR-mediated tumorigenesis in breast cancer.