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      Notch-EGFR/HER2 Bidirectional Crosstalk in Breast Cancer

      1 , * , 2 , 1 , 2 , 3

      Frontiers in Oncology

      Frontiers Media S.A.

      Notch, EGFR, HER2, crosstalk, breast cancer

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          The Notch pathway is a well-established mediator of cell–cell communication that plays a critical role in stem cell survival, self-renewal, cell fate decisions, tumorigenesis, invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance in a variety of cancers. An interesting form of crosstalk exists between the Notch receptor and the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase family, which consists of HER-1, -2, -3, and -4. Overexpression of HER and/or Notch occurs in several human cancers including brain, lung, breast, ovary, and skin making them potent oncogenes capable of advancing malignant disease. Continued assessment of interplay between these two critical signaling networks uncovers new insight into mechanisms used by HER-driven cancer cells to exploit Notch as a compensatory pathway. The compensatory Notch pathway maintains HER-induced downstream signals transmitted to pathways such as Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase and Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K), thereby allowing cancer cells to survive molecular targeted therapies, undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transitioning, and increase cellular invasion. Uncovering the critical crosstalk between the HER and Notch pathways can lead to improved screening for the expression of these oncogenes enabling patients to optimize their personal treatment options and predict potential treatment resistance. This review will focus on the current state of crosstalk between the HER and Notch receptors and the effectiveness of current therapies targeting HER-driven cancers.

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          Most cited references 117

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          Molecular portraits of human breast tumours.

          Human breast tumours are diverse in their natural history and in their responsiveness to treatments. Variation in transcriptional programs accounts for much of the biological diversity of human cells and tumours. In each cell, signal transduction and regulatory systems transduce information from the cell's identity to its environmental status, thereby controlling the level of expression of every gene in the genome. Here we have characterized variation in gene expression patterns in a set of 65 surgical specimens of human breast tumours from 42 different individuals, using complementary DNA microarrays representing 8,102 human genes. These patterns provided a distinctive molecular portrait of each tumour. Twenty of the tumours were sampled twice, before and after a 16-week course of doxorubicin chemotherapy, and two tumours were paired with a lymph node metastasis from the same patient. Gene expression patterns in two tumour samples from the same individual were almost always more similar to each other than either was to any other sample. Sets of co-expressed genes were identified for which variation in messenger RNA levels could be related to specific features of physiological variation. The tumours could be classified into subtypes distinguished by pervasive differences in their gene expression patterns.
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            EGFR mutations in lung cancer: correlation with clinical response to gefitinib therapy.

            Receptor tyrosine kinase genes were sequenced in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and matched normal tissue. Somatic mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene EGFR were found in 15of 58 unselected tumors from Japan and 1 of 61 from the United States. Treatment with the EGFR kinase inhibitor gefitinib (Iressa) causes tumor regression in some patients with NSCLC, more frequently in Japan. EGFR mutations were found in additional lung cancer samples from U.S. patients who responded to gefitinib therapy and in a lung adenocarcinoma cell line that was hypersensitive to growth inhibition by gefitinib, but not in gefitinib-insensitive tumors or cell lines. These results suggest that EGFR mutations may predict sensitivity to gefitinib.
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              Identification of human triple-negative breast cancer subtypes and preclinical models for selection of targeted therapies.

              Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly diverse group of cancers, and subtyping is necessary to better identify molecular-based therapies. In this study, we analyzed gene expression (GE) profiles from 21 breast cancer data sets and identified 587 TNBC cases. Cluster analysis identified 6 TNBC subtypes displaying unique GE and ontologies, including 2 basal-like (BL1 and BL2), an immunomodulatory (IM), a mesenchymal (M), a mesenchymal stem-like (MSL), and a luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype. Further, GE analysis allowed us to identify TNBC cell line models representative of these subtypes. Predicted "driver" signaling pathways were pharmacologically targeted in these cell line models as proof of concept that analysis of distinct GE signatures can inform therapy selection. BL1 and BL2 subtypes had higher expression of cell cycle and DNA damage response genes, and representative cell lines preferentially responded to cisplatin. M and MSL subtypes were enriched in GE for epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and growth factor pathways and cell models responded to NVP-BEZ235 (a PI3K/mTOR inhibitor) and dasatinib (an abl/src inhibitor). The LAR subtype includes patients with decreased relapse-free survival and was characterized by androgen receptor (AR) signaling. LAR cell lines were uniquely sensitive to bicalutamide (an AR antagonist). These data may be useful in biomarker selection, drug discovery, and clinical trial design that will enable alignment of TNBC patients to appropriate targeted therapies.

                Author and article information

                Front Oncol
                Front Oncol
                Front. Oncol.
                Frontiers in Oncology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                12 December 2014
                : 4
                1Integrative Cell Biology Program, Health Sciences Division, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Chicago , Maywood, IL, USA
                2Health Sciences Division, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Chicago , Maywood, IL, USA
                3Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Division, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Chicago , Maywood, IL, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Aleksandra Filipovic, Imperial College London, UK

                Reviewed by: David Engelberg, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Georgios (George) Rassidakis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

                *Correspondence: Andrew T. Baker, CBCC Building 112, Room 325, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL, USA e-mail: abaker0096@

                This article was submitted to Cancer Molecular Targets and Therapeutics, a section of the journal Frontiers in Oncology.

                Copyright © 2014 Baker, Zlobin and Osipo.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 119, Pages: 15, Words: 12602
                Review Article

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                breast cancer, crosstalk, her2, egfr, notch


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