Gene Summary

Gene:GRB7; growth factor receptor bound protein 7
Summary:The product of this gene belongs to a small family of adapter proteins that are known to interact with a number of receptor tyrosine kinases and signaling molecules. This gene encodes a growth factor receptor-binding protein that interacts with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ephrin receptors. The protein plays a role in the integrin signaling pathway and cell migration by binding with focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Several transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:growth factor receptor-bound protein 7
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (19)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Recurrence
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Genome, Human
  • Messenger RNA
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Trastuzumab
  • Base Sequence
  • Phosphorylation
  • RNA Interference
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Testis
  • GRB7
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Gene Dosage
  • Tamoxifen
  • Gene Expression
  • Transfection
  • ERBB2
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Breast Cancer
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptor, erbB-2
  • Up-Regulation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Movement
  • Survival Rate
  • GRB7 Adaptor Protein
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chromosome 17
  • Gene Amplification
Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: GRB7 (cancer-related)

Tang Y, Yang S, Wang M, et al.
Epigenetically altered miR‑193a‑3p promotes HER2 positive breast cancer aggressiveness by targeting GRB7.
Int J Mol Med. 2019; 43(6):2352-2360 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging evidence has demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) have various biological functions in the development of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer. The aim of the present study is to reveal the mechanism of miR‑193a‑3p inhibiting the progress of HER2 positive breast cancer. The expression of miR‑193a‑3p was evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The methylation status of miR‑193a‑3p was evaluated by PCR and pyrosequencing analysis. Overexpression of miR‑193a‑3p and growth factor receptor bound protein 7 (GRB7) combined with in vitro tumorigenic assays were conducted to determine the carcinostatic capacities of miR‑193a‑3p in HER2 positive breast cancer cells. The association between miR‑193a‑3p and GRB7 was determined by luciferase reporter assay. Protein level was evaluated using western blot analysis. miR‑193a‑3p was downregulated in HER2 positive breast cancer cells and clinical tissues. Methylation‑mediated silencing led to decreased expression of miR‑193a‑3p in HER2 positive breast cancer. Overexpression of miR‑193a‑3p could inhibit proliferation, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Overexpression of GRB7 could abolish this effect. miR‑193a‑3p could directly target the 3' untranslated region of GRB7. miR‑193a‑3p could directly or indirectly target extracellular signal‑regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) signaling. In conclusion, it was identified that silencing of miR‑193a‑3p through hypermethylation can promote HER2 positive breast cancer progress by targeting GRB7, ERK1/2 and FOXM1 signaling. The function of miR‑193a‑3p in HER2 positive breast cancer implicates its potential application in therapy.

Xu J, Liu H, Yang Y, et al.
Genome-Wide Profiling of Cervical RNA-Binding Proteins Identifies Human Papillomavirus Regulation of RNASEH2A Expression by Viral E7 and E2F1.
MBio. 2019; 10(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) control mRNA processing, stability, transport, editing, and translation. We recently conducted transcriptome analyses comparing normal (i.e., healthy) cervical tissue samples with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive cervical cancer tissue samples and identified 614 differentially expressed protein-coding transcripts which are enriched in cancer-related pathways and consist of 95 known RBPs. We verified the altered expression of 26 genes with a cohort of 72 cervical samples, including 24 normal cervical samples, 25 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2) and CIN3 samples, and 23 cervical cancer tissue samples. LY6K (lymphocyte antigen 6 complex locus K), FAM83A (family member with sequence similarity 83), CELSR3, ASF1B, IQGAP3, SEMA3F, CLDN10, MSX1, CXCL5, ASRGL1, ELAVL2, GRB7, KHSRP, NOVA1, PTBP1, and RNASEH2A were identified as novel candidate genes associated with cervical lesion progression and carcinogenesis. HPV16 or HPV18 infection was found to alter the expression of 8 RBP genes (CDKN2A, ELAVL2, GRB7, HSPB1, KHSRP, NOVA1, PTBP1, and RNASEH2A) in human vaginal and foreskin keratinocytes. Both viral E6 and E7 decreased NOVA1 expression, but only E7 increased the expression of RNASEH2A in an E2F1-dependent manner. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) directs RNASEH2 activity with respect to DNA replication by removing the RNA primers to promote Okazaki fragment maturation, and two factors are closely associated with neoplasia progression. Therefore, we predict that the induction of expression of RNASEH2A via viral E7 and E2F1 may promote DNA replication and cancer cell proliferation.

Luoh SW, Wagoner W, Wang X, et al.
GRB7 dependent proliferation of basal-like, HER-2 positive human breast cancer cell lines is mediated in part by HER-1 signaling.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(5):699-707 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GRB7 gene encodes a multi-domain signal transduction molecule and is part of the core of the HER-2 amplicon. GRB7 is commonly co-amplified and overexpressed with HER-2 in human breast cancer. This study addresses the role of GRB7 in HER-2 positive human breast cancers resistant to HER-2 targeted therapy. HCC1954, 21MT1, and JIMT1 are basal like HER-2 positive breast cancer cell lines based on expression profiling. These three cell lines are resistant to trastuzumab and lapatinib treatment. Knockdown of GRB7 protein expression with siRNA transfection as well as lentiviral vector mediated shRNA over-expression decreased the growth of HCC1954, 21MT1, and JIMT1 cells in vitro and the growth of tumor xenografts these cells formed in animal models. When assayed by ki-67 staining and TUNEL assay, the mechanism of reduced tumor xenograft growth appeared to be distinct. Reduced proliferation and increased apoptosis were seen in 21MT1 cells, while reduced proliferation was seen in HCC1954 cells and increased apoptosis in JIMT1 cells. Phospho-proteome profiling found HER-1 tyrosine phosphorylation was reduced with GRB7 knock down in JIMT1 cells. Immuno-blotting and immuno-precipitation experiments found HER-1 phosphorylation was reduced with GRB7 knock down in all three cell lines. HER-1 knock down via siRNA transient transfection as well as blocking HER-1 function with panitumumab decreased proliferation of all three cell lines in vitro. Our study finds that GRB7 has an essential growth promoting function which is mediated in part by HER-1 activation. The potential of HER-1 targeting in therapy resistant HER-2 positive breast cancer merits further study.

Ahmed W, Malik MFA, Saeed M, Haq F
Copy number profiling of Oncotype DX genes reveals association with survival of breast cancer patients.
Mol Biol Rep. 2018; 45(6):2185-2192 [PubMed] Related Publications
Copy number variations (CNVs) are key contributors in breast cancer initiation and progression. However, to date, no CNV-based gene signature is developed for breast cancer. 21-gene Oncotype DX, a clinically validated signature, was identified using only RNA expression data in breast cancer patients. In this study, we evaluated whether CNVs of Oncotype DX genes can be used to predict the prognosis of breast cancer patients. Transcriptomic data of 547 and genomic data of 816 of breast cancer patients were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas database. To establish the prognostic relevance between the CNVs of Oncotype DX genes and clinicopathological features, statistical analysis including Pearson Correlation, Fisher-exact, Chi square, Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses were performed. 86% genes showed positive CNV-expression correlation. CNVs in 52% and 47.6% genes showed association with ER+ and PR+ status, respectively. 71% of the genes (including ERBB2, CTSV, CD68, GRB7, MKI67, MMP1, PGR, RPLP0, TFRC, BAG1, BCL2, BIRC5, FLNB, GSTM1 and SCUBE2) showed association with poor overall survival. 14% of the genes (including CTSV, RPLP0 and BIRC5) genes showed association with disease free survival. Cox regression analysis revealed ESR1, metastasis and node stage as independent prognostic factors for overall survival of breast cancer patients. The results suggested that CNV-based assay of Oncotype DX genes can be used to predict the survival of breast cancer patients. In future, identifying new gene signatures for better breast cancer prognosis using CNV level information will be worth investigating.

Pan X, Hu X, Zhang YH, et al.
Identification of the copy number variant biomarkers for breast cancer subtypes.
Mol Genet Genomics. 2019; 294(1):95-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a common and threatening malignant disease with multiple biological and clinical subtypes. It can be categorized into subtypes of luminal A, luminal B, Her2 positive, and basal-like. Copy number variants (CNVs) have been reported to be a potential and even better biomarker for cancer diagnosis than mRNA biomarkers, because it is considerably more stable and robust than gene expression. Thus, it is meaningful to detect CNVs of different cancers. To identify the CNV biomarker for breast cancer subtypes, we integrated the CNV data of more than 2000 samples from two large breast cancer databases, METABRIC and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). A Monte Carlo feature selection-based and incremental feature selection-based computational method was proposed and tested to identify the distinctive core CNVs in different breast cancer subtypes. We identified the CNV genes that may contribute to breast cancer tumorigenesis as well as built a set of quantitative distinctive rules for recognition of the breast cancer subtypes. The tenfold cross-validation Matthew's correlation coefficient (MCC) on METABRIC training set and the independent test on TCGA dataset were 0.515 and 0.492, respectively. The CNVs of PGAP3, GRB7, MIR4728, PNMT, STARD3, TCAP and ERBB2 were important for the accurate diagnosis of breast cancer subtypes. The findings reported in this study may further uncover the difference between different breast cancer subtypes and improve the diagnosis accuracy.

Chen K, Liu MX, Mak CS, et al.
Methylation-associated silencing of
Theranostics. 2018; 8(2):423-436 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human growth factor receptor-bound protein-7 (GRB7) is a pivotal mediator involved in receptor tyrosine kinase signaling and governing diverse cellular processes. Aberrant upregulation of GRB7 is frequently associated with the progression of human cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to the upregulation of GRB7 remain largely unknown. Here, we propose that the epigenetic modification of GRB7 at the post-transcriptional level may be a crucial factor leading to GRB7 upregulation in ovarian cancers.

Serrano-Gómez SJ, Sanabria-Salas MC, Garay J, et al.
Ancestry as a potential modifier of gene expression in breast tumors from Colombian women.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(8):e0183179 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hispanic/Latino populations are a genetically admixed and heterogeneous group, with variable fractions of European, Indigenous American and African ancestries. The molecular profile of breast cancer has been widely described in non-Hispanic Whites but equivalent knowledge is lacking in Hispanic/Latinas. We have previously reported that the most prevalent breast cancer intrinsic subtype in Colombian women was Luminal B as defined by St. Gallen 2013 criteria. In this study we explored ancestry-associated differences in molecular profiles of Luminal B tumors among these highly admixed women.
METHODS: We performed whole-transcriptome RNA-seq analysis in 42 Luminal tumors (21 Luminal A and 21 Luminal B) from Colombian women. Genetic ancestry was estimated from a panel of 80 ancestry-informative markers (AIM). We categorized patients according to Luminal subtype and to the proportion of European and Indigenous American ancestry and performed differential expression analysis comparing Luminal B against Luminal A tumors according to the assigned ancestry groups.
RESULTS: We found 5 genes potentially modulated by genetic ancestry: ERBB2 (log2FC = 2.367, padj<0.01), GRB7 (log2FC = 2.327, padj<0.01), GSDMB (log2FC = 1.723, padj<0.01, MIEN1 (log2FC = 2.195, padj<0.01 and ONECUT2 (log2FC = 2.204, padj<0.01). In the replication set we found a statistical significant association between ERBB2 expression with Indigenous American ancestry (p = 0.02, B = 3.11). This association was not biased by the distribution of HER2+ tumors among the groups analyzed.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that genetic ancestry in Hispanic/Latina women might modify ERBB2 gene expression in Luminal tumors. Further analyses are needed to confirm these findings and explore their prognostic value.

Zhao HB, Zhang XF, Jia XL, Wang HB
Grb7 is over-expressed in cervical cancer and facilitate invasion and inhibit apoptosis in cervical cancer cells.
Pathol Res Pract. 2017; 213(9):1180-1184 [PubMed] Related Publications
Growth factor receptor bound protein-7 (Grb7) is a multi-domain adaptor protein that is co-opted by numerous tyrosine kinases involved in various cellular signaling. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of Grb7 and its clinicopathological significance in cervical cancer. Utilising immunohistochemical staining, we examined the expression of Grb7 in 120 cases of human cervical cancer tissue and 10 cases of adjacent non-cancerous cervical tissue. The positive rate of Grb7 protein expression was 34.2%, which was significantly higher than that in adjacent non-cancerous cervical tissue (0%, p<0.05). The expression of Grb7 was found to be correlated with age, tumor size, serosal invasion, differentiated degree, tumor stage, early or advanced stage and lymph node metastasis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that patients with positive Grb7 protein expression had a lower overall survival rate than patients without Grb7 expression. In addition, Grb7 plays an important role in promoting tumor progression, including invasion and anti-apoptosis, in cervical cancer cell line. Down-regulation of Grb7 repressed the expression of MMP-9 and Bcl-2, and increased the expression of Bax in Grb7 knockdown Hela cells. Cell invasion assay showed decreased number of Grb7 knockdown Hela cells (18.7±2.1) compared to Hela cells (65.3±2.5, P<0.05). Our results indicated that Grb7 over-expression may facilitate invasion and inhibit apoptosis in cervical cancer and Grb7 is a potentially molecular target of cervical cancer chemotherapy.

Lesurf R, Griffith OL, Griffith M, et al.
Genomic characterization of HER2-positive breast cancer and response to neoadjuvant trastuzumab and chemotherapy-results from the ACOSOG Z1041 (Alliance) trial.
Ann Oncol. 2017; 28(5):1070-1077 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: HER2 (ERBB2) gene amplification and its corresponding overexpression are present in 15-30% of invasive breast cancers. While HER2-targeted agents are effective treatments, resistance remains a major cause of death. The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z1041 trial (NCT00513292) was designed to compare the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate of distinct regimens of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and trastuzumab, but ultimately identified no difference.
Patients and methods: In supplement to tissues from 37 Z1041 cases, 11 similarly treated cases were obtained from a single institution study (NCT00353483). We have extracted genomic DNA from both pre-treatment tumor biopsies and blood of these 48 cases, and performed whole genome (WGS) and exome sequencing. Coincident with these efforts, we have generated RNA-seq profiles from 42 of the tumor biopsies. Among patients in this cohort, 24 (50%) achieved a pCR.
Results: We have characterized the genomic landscape of HER2-positive breast cancer and investigated associations between genomic features and pCR. Cases assigned to the HER2-enriched subtype by RNA-seq analysis were more likely to achieve a pCR compared to the luminal, basal-like, or normal-like subtypes (19/27 versus 3/15; P = 0.0032). Mutational events led to the generation of putatively active neoantigens, but were overall not associated with pCR. ERBB2 and GRB7 were the genes most commonly observed in fusion events, and genomic copy number analysis of the ERBB2 locus indicated that cases with either no observable or low-level ERBB2 amplification were less likely to achieve a pCR (7/8 versus 17/40; P = 0.048). Moreover, among cases that achieved a pCR, tumors consistently expressed immune signatures that may contribute to therapeutic response.
Conclusion: The identification of these features suggests that it may be possible to predict, at the time of diagnosis, those HER2-positive breast cancer patients who will not respond to treatment with chemotherapy and trastuzumab. identifiers: NCT00513292, NCT00353483.

Bivin WW, Yergiyev O, Bunker ML, et al.
GRB7 Expression and Correlation With HER2 Amplification in Invasive Breast Carcinoma.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2017; 25(8):553-558 [PubMed] Related Publications
Growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (GRB7) gene is located adjacent to the HER2 gene on the 17q12-21 amplicon, is often coamplified with HER2 in a subset of breast cancers, and has been implicated in resistance to anti-HER2 and antiestrogen therapy. This study investigated the correlation of GRB7 expression by immunohistochemistry with HER2 expression, HER2 amplification, increased chromosome 17 copy number, and other prognostic and predictive factors in invasive breast cancer, including histologic grade, pathologic stage, and ER, PR, and p53 status. Paraffin-embedded samples of 188 invasive breast carcinomas with documented HER2, ER, and PR testing were collected and divided into 3 groups: cases positive for HER2 overexpression/gene amplification (n=60), negative for HER2 overexpression (n=97), and cases with increased chromosome 17 copy number without HER2 amplification (n=31). GRB7 expression was evaluated on all 188 cases. In addition, p53 immunohistochemistry was performed on 13 HER2+/GRB7+ cases and 39 HER2+/GRB7- cases. GRB7 expression correlated strongly with HER2 overexpression. GRB7 expression was present in 20/60 (33.33%) of HER2+ cases, compared with 1/97 (1.03%) HER2- cases, and 1/31 (3.22%) increased chromosome 17 copy number cases (P<0.0001). In HER2+ cases, GRB7 expression was found to correlate significantly with a greater degree of HER2 amplification. The mean±SEM HER2 copy number was 21.14±2.59 in GRB7+ cases, compared with 9.8±1.38 in GRB7- cases (P=0.0001). GRB7 expression correlated significantly with ER negativity (P=0.012) and p53 positivity (P=0.03). GRB7 expression did not correlate with histologic grade, pathologic stage, or PR expression. Our data shows that GRB7 expression in invasive breast cancer correlates with markers of a more aggressive phenotype, including HER2 overexpression, a greater degree of HER2 amplification, ER negativity, and p53 positivity.

Budczies J, Pfarr N, Stenzinger A, et al.
Ioncopy: a novel method for calling copy number alterations in amplicon sequencing data including significance assessment.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(11):13236-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, it has been demonstrated that calling of copy number alterations (CNAs) from amplicon sequencing (AS) data is feasible. Most approaches, however, require non-tumor (germline) DNA for data normalization. Here, we present the method Ioncopy for CNA detection which requires no normal controls and includes a significance assessment for each detected alteration.Ioncopy was evaluated in a cohort of 184 clinically annotated breast carcinomas. A total number of 252 amplifications were detected, of which 183 (72.6%) could be validated by a call of an additional amplicon interrogating the same gene. Moreover, a total number of 33 deletions were found, whereof 27 (81.8%) could be validated. Analyzing the 16 most frequently amplified genes, validation rates of over 89% could be achieved for 11 of these genes. 11 of the top 16 genes showed significant overexpression in the amplified tumors. 89.5% of the HER2-amplified tumors were GRB7 and STARD3 co-amplified, whereas 68.4% of the HER2-amplified tumors had additional MED1 amplifications. Correlations between CNAs measured by amplicons in HER2 exons 19, 20 and 21 were strong (all R > 0.93). AS based detection of HER2 amplifications had a sensitivity of 90.0% and a specificity of 98.8% compared to the gold standard of HER2 immunohistochemistry combined with in situ hybridization.In summary, we developed and validated a novel method for detection and significance assessment of CNAs in amplicon sequencing data. Using Ioncopy, AS offers a straightforward and efficient approach to simultaneously analyze gene amplifications and gene deletions together with simple somatic mutations in a single assay.

Hechtman JF, Zehir A, Yaeger R, et al.
Identification of Targetable Kinase Alterations in Patients with Colorectal Carcinoma That are Preferentially Associated with Wild-Type RAS/RAF.
Mol Cancer Res. 2016; 14(3):296-301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Targeted therapy for metastatic colorectal carcinoma consists of anti-EGFR therapy for patients with RAS/RAF wild-type tumors. However, the response rate remains low, suggesting the presence of alternative drivers possibly also representing potential therapeutic targets. We investigated receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) alterations and MAP2K1 (MEK1) mutations in a large cohort of colorectal carcinoma patients studied by Memorial Sloan Kettering-Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets and The Cancer Genome Atlas, focusing on amplifications, fusions, and hotspot mutations in RTK genes and MAP2K1. RTK gene amplifications were confirmed with FISH and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. Among 751 colorectal carcinoma cases with next-generation sequencing data, 7% and 1% of colorectal carcinoma harbored RTK alterations and MAP2K1 hotspot mutations (n = 7), respectively. RTK-altered cases had fewer concurrent RAS/RAF mutations (P = 0.003) than RTK/MAP2K1 wild-type colorectal carcinoma. MAP2K1-mutated colorectal carcinoma showed no RAS/RAF mutations. ERBB2 (n = 32) and EGFR (n = 13) were the most frequently altered RTKs, both activated by amplification and/or hotspot mutations. Three RTK fusions were identified: NCOA4-RET, ERBB2-GRB7, and ETV6-NTRK3. Only 1 of 6 patients with an RTK or MAP2K1 alteration who received anti-EGFR and/or anti-ERBB2 therapy demonstrated stable disease; the rest progressed immediately. Overall, RTK alterations and MAP2K1 mutations occur in approximately 8% of colorectal carcinoma. In spite of the usual absence of RAS/RAF mutations, response to anti-EGFR and/or anti-ERBB2 therapy was poor in this limited group. Larger studies are warranted to further define these kinase alterations as novel therapeutic targets in colorectal carcinoma and as negative predictors of response to anti-EGFR therapy.
IMPLICATIONS: Targetable kinase alterations were identified in a subset of advanced colorectal carcinoma patients, preferentially associated with wild-type RAS/RAF, and may predict poor response to standard anti-EGFR therapy.

Zeng M, Yang Z, Hu X, et al.
Grb7 gene amplification and protein expression by FISH and IHC in ovarian cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(9):11296-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Overexpression of growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (Grb7) has been found in numerous human cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between Grb7 gene amplification and protein expression in ovarian cancer (OC).
METHODS: We use Tissue Microarray (TMA) respectively to detect the gene amplification and protein expression of Grb7 in 90 cases OC and 10 control specimens of normal ovarian tissues by IHC and FISH.
RESULTS: The Grb7 protein expression by IHC analysis was observed in 52/90 (57.8%) OC with 3 cases (3.3%) scored 3(+) and 9 cases (10%) scored 2(+) Grb7 gene amplification by FISH analysis was successfully detectable in 6 specimens with a positive rate of 6.8% (6/88) in which immunostaining 3(+), 2(+) and negative (1(+)/0) expressions of Grb7 were 100.0% (3/3), 11.1% (1/9) and 2.6% (2/76), respectively. Our data exhibited that the IHC and FISH results had a good consistency between Grb7 gene amplification and Grb7 protein expression (Kappa = 0.651, P < 0.001). Both the results of IHC and FISH revealed that Grb7 did not seem to have a role in OC clinicopathology.
CONCLUSION: There is a close relationship between Grb7 gene amplification and GRB7 protein overexpression in human OC. IHC might have limited diagnostic value especially in these tumors and especially in characterizing genetically diverse borderline cases, FISH could be superior to IHC.

Sawada G, Niida A, Hirata H, et al.
An Integrative Analysis to Identify Driver Genes in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0139808 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Few driver genes have been well established in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Identification of the genomic aberrations that contribute to changes in gene expression profiles can be used to predict driver genes.
METHODS: We searched for driver genes in ESCC by integrative analysis of gene expression microarray profiles and copy number data. To narrow down candidate genes, we performed survival analysis on expression data and tested the genetic vulnerability of each genes using public RNAi screening data. We confirmed the results by performing RNAi experiments and evaluating the clinical relevance of candidate genes in an independent ESCC cohort.
RESULTS: We found 10 significantly recurrent copy number alterations accompanying gene expression changes, including loci 11q13.2, 7p11.2, 3q26.33, and 17q12, which harbored CCND1, EGFR, SOX2, and ERBB2, respectively. Analysis of survival data and RNAi screening data suggested that GRB7, located on 17q12, was a driver gene in ESCC. In ESCC cell lines harboring 17q12 amplification, knockdown of GRB7 reduced the proliferation, migration, and invasion capacities of cells. Moreover, siRNA targeting GRB7 had a synergistic inhibitory effect when combined with trastuzumab, an anti-ERBB2 antibody. Survival analysis of the independent cohort also showed that high GRB7 expression was associated with poor prognosis in ESCC.
CONCLUSION: Our integrative analysis provided important insights into ESCC pathogenesis. We identified GRB7 as a novel ESCC driver gene and potential new therapeutic target.

Arnold A, Bahra M, Lenze D, et al.
Genome wide DNA copy number analysis in cholangiocarcinoma using high resolution molecular inversion probe single nucleotide polymorphism assay.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 99(2):344-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
In order to study molecular similarities and differences of intrahepatic (IH-CCA) and extrahepatic (EH-CCA) cholangiocarcinoma, 24 FFPE tumor samples (13 IH-CCA, 11 EH-CCA) were analyzed for whole genome copy number variations (CNVs) using a new high-density Molecular Inversion Probe Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (MIP SNP) assay. Common in both tumor subtypes the most frequent losses were detected on chromosome 1p, 3p, 6q and 9 while gains were mostly seen in 1q, 8q as well as complete chromosome 17 and 20. Applying the statistical GISTIC (Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer) tool we identified potential novel candidate tumor suppressor- (DBC1, FHIT, PPP2R2A) and oncogenes (LYN, FGF19, GRB7, PTPN1) within these regions of chromosomal instability. Next to common aberrations in IH-CCA and EH-CCA, we additionally found significant differences in copy number variations on chromosome 3 and 14. Moreover, due to the fact that mutations in the Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH-1 and IDH-2) genes are more frequent in our IH-CCA than in our EH-CCA samples, we suggest that the tumor subtypes have a different molecular profile. In conclusion, new possible target genes within regions of high significant copy number aberrations were detected using a high-density Molecular Inversion Probe Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (MIP SNP) assay, which opens a future perspective of fast routine copy number and marker gene identification for gene targeted therapy.

Lacle MM, Moelans CB, Kornegoor R, et al.
Chromosome 17 copy number changes in male breast cancer.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2015; 38(3):237-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overall, HER2-amplified female breast cancer (FBC) is associated with a high grade, an aggressive phenotype and a poor prognosis. In male breast cancer (MBC) amplification of HER2, located on chromosome 17, occurs at a lower frequency than in FBC, where it is part of complex rearrangements. So far, only few studies have addressed the occurrence of chromosome 17 alterations in small MBC cohorts.
METHODS: Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were used to detect and characterize copy number changes on chromosome 17 in a cohort of 139 MBC. The results obtained were compared to those in FBC, and were correlated with clinicopathological features and patient outcome data.
RESULTS: We observed a lower frequency of chromosome 17 copy number changes with less complex rearrangement patterns in MBC compared to FBC. Chromosome 17 changes in MBC included gains of 17q and losses of 17p. Whole chromosome 17 polyploidies were not encountered. Two recurrent chromosome 17 amplicons were detected: on 17q12 (encompassing the NEUROD2, HER2, GRB7 and IKZF3 gens) and on 17q23.1 (encompassing the MIR21 and RPS6KB1 genes). Whole arm copy number gains of 17q were associated with decreased 5 year survival rates (p = 0.010). Amplification of HER2 was associated with a high tumor grade, but did not predict patient survival. Although copy number gains of HER2 and NEUROD2 were associated with a high tumor grade, a high mitotic count and a decreased 5 year survival rate (p = 0.015), only tumor size and NEUROD2 copy number gains emerged as independent prognostic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: In MBC chromosome 17 shows less complex rearrangements and fewer copy number changes compared to FBC. Frequent gains of 17q, encompassing two distinct amplicons, and losses of 17p were observed, but no whole chromosome 17 polyploidies. Only NEUROD2 gains seem to have an independent prognostic impact. These results suggest different roles of chromosome 17 aberrations in male versus female breast carcinogenesis.

Murray JC, Aldeghaither D, Wang S, et al.
c-Abl modulates tumor cell sensitivity to antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2014; 2(12):1186-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) can modulate cancer cell signal transduction and recruit antitumor immune effector mechanisms-including antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Although several clinically effective antibodies can promote ADCC, therapeutic resistance is common. We hypothesized that oncogenic signaling networks within tumor cells affect their sensitivity to ADCC. We developed a screening platform and targeted 60 genes derived from an EGFR gene network using RNAi in an in vitro ADCC model system. Knockdown of GRB7, PRKCE, and ABL1 enhanced ADCC by primary and secondary screens. ABL1 knockdown also reduced cell proliferation, independent of its ADCC enhancement effects. c-Abl overexpression decreased ADCC sensitivity and rescued the effects of ABL1 knockdown. Imatinib inhibition of c-Abl kinase activity also enhanced ADCC-phenocopying ABL1 knockdown-against several EGFR-expressing head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines by ex vivo primary natural killer cells. Our findings suggest that combining c-Abl inhibition with ADCC-promoting antibodies, such as cetuximab, could translate into increased therapeutic efficacy of mAbs.

Darweesh AS, Louka ML, Hana M, et al.
Validation of analytical breast cancer microarray analysis in medical laboratory.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(10):201 [PubMed] Related Publications
A previously reported microarray data analysis by RISS algorithm on breast cancer showed over-expression of the growth factor receptor (Grb7) and it also highlighted Tweety (TTYH1) gene to be under expressed in breast cancer for the first time. Our aim was to validate the results obtained from the microarray analysis with respect to these genes. Also, the relationship between their expression and the different prognostic indicators was addressed. RNA was extracted from the breast tissue of 30 patients with primary malignant breast cancer. Control samples from the same patients were harvested at a distance of ≥5 cm from the tumour. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis was done on all samples. There was a significant difference between the malignant and control tissues as regards Grb7 expression. It was significantly related to the presence of lymph node metastasis, stage and histological grade of the malignant tumours. There was a significant inverse relation between expression of Grb7 and expression of both oestrogen and progesterone receptors. Grb7 was found to be significantly related to the biological classification of breast cancer. TTYH1 was not expressed in either the malignant or the control samples. The RISS by our group algorithm developed was laboratory validated for Grb7, but not for TTYH1. The newly developed software tool needs to be improved.

Chen Y, McGee J, Chen X, et al.
Identification of druggable cancer driver genes amplified across TCGA datasets.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98293 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) projects have advanced our understanding of the driver mutations, genetic backgrounds, and key pathways activated across cancer types. Analysis of TCGA datasets have mostly focused on somatic mutations and translocations, with less emphasis placed on gene amplifications. Here we describe a bioinformatics screening strategy to identify putative cancer driver genes amplified across TCGA datasets. We carried out GISTIC2 analysis of TCGA datasets spanning 16 cancer subtypes and identified 486 genes that were amplified in two or more datasets. The list was narrowed to 75 cancer-associated genes with potential "druggable" properties. The majority of the genes were localized to 14 amplicons spread across the genome. To identify potential cancer driver genes, we analyzed gene copy number and mRNA expression data from individual patient samples and identified 42 putative cancer driver genes linked to diverse oncogenic processes. Oncogenic activity was further validated by siRNA/shRNA knockdown and by referencing the Project Achilles datasets. The amplified genes represented a number of gene families, including epigenetic regulators, cell cycle-associated genes, DNA damage response/repair genes, metabolic regulators, and genes linked to the Wnt, Notch, Hedgehog, JAK/STAT, NF-KB and MAPK signaling pathways. Among the 42 putative driver genes were known driver genes, such as EGFR, ERBB2 and PIK3CA. Wild-type KRAS was amplified in several cancer types, and KRAS-amplified cancer cell lines were most sensitive to KRAS shRNA, suggesting that KRAS amplification was an independent oncogenic event. A number of MAP kinase adapters were co-amplified with their receptor tyrosine kinases, such as the FGFR adapter FRS2 and the EGFR family adapters GRB2 and GRB7. The ubiquitin-like ligase DCUN1D1 and the histone methyltransferase NSD3 were also identified as novel putative cancer driver genes. We discuss the patient tailoring implications for existing cancer drug targets and we further discuss potential novel opportunities for drug discovery efforts.

Lim RC, Price JT, Wilce JA
Context-dependent role of Grb7 in HER2+ve and triple-negative breast cancer cell lines.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 143(3):593-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
Grb7 is an adapter protein, aberrantly co-overexpressed with HER2 and identified as an independent prognostic marker in breast cancer. It has been established that Grb7 exacerbates the cellular growth and migratory behaviour of HER2+ve breast cancer cells. Less is known about Grb7's role in the context of HER2-ve cells. Here we directly compare the effect of stable Grb7 knockdown in oestrogen sensitive (T47D), HER2+ve (SKBR3) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines on anchorage dependent and independent cell growth, wound healing and chemotaxis. All cell lines showed reduced ability to migrate upon Grb7 knockdown, despite their greatly varied endogenous levels of Grb7. Decreased cell proliferation was not observed in any of the cell lines upon Grb7 knockdown; however, decreased ability to form colonies was observed for all but the oestrogen sensitive cell line, depending upon the stringency of the growth conditions. The data reveal that Grb7 plays an important role in breast cancer progression, beyond the context of HER2+ve cell types.

Qiu Y, Zhang ZY, Du WD, et al.
Association analysis of ERBB2 amplicon genetic polymorphisms and STARD3 expression with risk of gastric cancer in the Chinese population.
Gene. 2014; 535(2):225-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether risk of gastric cancer (GC) was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a gene cluster on the chromosome 17q12-q21 (ERBB2 amplicon) in the Chinese Han population. We detected twenty-six SNPs in this gene cluster containing steroidogenic acute regulatory-related lipid transfer domain containing 3 (STARD3), protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 1B (PPP1R1B/DARPP32), titin-cap (TCAP), per1-like domain containing 1(PERLD1/CAB2), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (ERBB2/HER2), zinc-finger protein subfamily 1A 3 (ZNFN1A3/IKZF3) and DNA topoisomerase 2-alpha (TOP2A) genes in 311 patients with GC and in 425 controls by Sequenom. We found no associations between genetic variations and GC risk. However, haplotype analysis implied that the haplotype CCCT of STARD3 (rs9972882, rs881844, rs11869286 and rs1877031) conferred a protective effect on the susceptibility to GC (P=0.043, odds ratio [OR]=0.805, 95% confidence intervals [95% CI]=0.643-0.992). The STARD3 rs1877031 TC genotype endued histogenesis of gastric mucinous adenocarcinoma and signet-ring cell carcinoma (P=0.021, OR=2.882, 95% CI=1.173-7.084). We examined the expression of STARD3 in 243 tumor tissues out of the 311 GC patients and 20 adjacent normal gastric tissues using immumohistochemical (IHC) analysis and tissue microarrays (TMA). The expression of STARD3 was observed in the gastric parietal cells and in gastric tumor tissues and significantly correlated with gender (P=0.004), alcohol drinking (P<0.001), tumor location (P=0.007), histological type (P=0.005) and differentiation (P=0.023) in GC. We concluded that the combined effect of haplotype CCCT of STARD3 might affect GC susceptibility. STARD3 expression might be related to the tumorigenesis of GC in the Chinese population.

Pogue-Geile KL, Kim C, Jeong JH, et al.
Predicting degree of benefit from adjuvant trastuzumab in NSABP trial B-31.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(23):1782-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) trial B-31 suggested the efficacy of adjuvant trastuzumab, even in HER2-negative breast cancer. This finding prompted us to develop a predictive model for degree of benefit from trastuzumab using archived tumor blocks from B-31.
METHODS: Case subjects with tumor blocks were randomly divided into discovery (n = 588) and confirmation cohorts (n = 991). A predictive model was built from the discovery cohort through gene expression profiling of 462 genes with nCounter assay. A predefined cut point for the predictive model was tested in the confirmation cohort. Gene-by-treatment interaction was tested with Cox models, and correlations between variables were assessed with Spearman correlation. Principal component analysis was performed on the final set of selected genes. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Eight predictive genes associated with HER2 (ERBB2, c17orf37, GRB7) or ER (ESR1, NAT1, GATA3, CA12, IGF1R) were selected for model building. Three-dimensional subset treatment effect pattern plot using two principal components of these genes was used to identify a subset with no benefit from trastuzumab, characterized by intermediate-level ERBB2 and high-level ESR1 mRNA expression. In the confirmation set, the predefined cut points for this model classified patients into three subsets with differential benefit from trastuzumab with hazard ratios of 1.58 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.67 to 3.69; P = .29; n = 100), 0.60 (95% CI = 0.41 to 0.89; P = .01; n = 449), and 0.28 (95% CI = 0.20 to 0.41; P < .001; n = 442; P(interaction) between the model and trastuzumab < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: We developed a gene expression-based predictive model for degree of benefit from trastuzumab and demonstrated that HER2-negative tumors belong to the moderate benefit group, thus providing justification for testing trastuzumab in HER2-negative patients (NSABP B-47).

Johansson I, Ringnér M, Hedenfalk I
The landscape of candidate driver genes differs between male and female breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e78299 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The rapidly growing collection of diverse genome-scale data from multiple tumor types sheds light on various aspects of the underlying tumor biology. With the objective to identify genes of importance for breast tumorigenesis in men and to enable comparisons with genes important for breast cancer development in women, we applied the computational framework COpy Number and EXpression In Cancer (CONEXIC) to detect candidate driver genes among all altered passenger genes. Unique to this approach is that each driver gene is associated with several gene modules that are believed to be altered by the driver. Thirty candidate drivers were found in the male breast cancers and 67 in the female breast cancers. We identified many known drivers of breast cancer and other types of cancer, in the female dataset (e.g. GATA3, CCNE1, GRB7, CDK4). In contrast, only three known cancer genes were found among male breast cancers; MAP2K4, LHP, and ZNF217. Many of the candidate drivers identified are known to be involved in processes associated with tumorigenesis, including proliferation, invasion and differentiation. One of the modules identified in male breast cancer was regulated by THY1, a gene involved in invasion and related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, men with THY1 positive breast cancers had significantly inferior survival. THY1 may thus be a promising novel prognostic marker for male breast cancer. Another module identified among male breast cancers, regulated by SPAG5, was closely associated with proliferation. Our data indicate that male and female breast cancers display highly different landscapes of candidate driver genes, as only a few genes were found in common between the two. Consequently, the pathobiology of male breast cancer may differ from that of female breast cancer and can be associated with differences in prognosis; men diagnosed with breast cancer may consequently require different management and treatment strategies than women.

Mahmood SF, Gruel N, Chapeaublanc E, et al.
A siRNA screen identifies RAD21, EIF3H, CHRAC1 and TANC2 as driver genes within the 8q23, 8q24.3 and 17q23 amplicons in breast cancer with effects on cell growth, survival and transformation.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(3):670-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA interference has boosted the field of functional genomics, by making it possible to carry out 'loss-of-function' screens in cultured cells. Here, we performed a small interfering RNA screening, in three breast cancer cell lines, for 101 candidate driver genes overexpressed in amplified breast tumors and belonging to eight amplicons on chromosomes 8q and 17q, investigating their role in cell survival/proliferation. This screening identified eight driver genes that were amplified, overexpressed and critical for breast tumor cell proliferation or survival. They included the well-described oncogenic driver genes for the 17q12 amplicon, ERBB2 and GRB7. Four of six other candidate driver genes-RAD21 and EIF3H, both on chromosome 8q23, CHRAC1 on chromosome 8q24.3 and TANC2 on chromosome 17q23-were confirmed to be driver genes regulating the proliferation/survival of clonogenic breast cancer cells presenting an amplification of the corresponding region. Indeed, knockdown of the expression of these genes decreased cell viability, through both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction, and inhibited the formation of colonies in anchorage-independent conditions, in soft agar. Strategies for inhibiting the expression of these genes or the function of the proteins they encode are therefore of potential value for the treatment of breast cancers presenting amplifications of the corresponding genomic region.

Montemurro F, Prat A, Rossi V, et al.
Potential biomarkers of long-term benefit from single-agent trastuzumab or lapatinib in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
Mol Oncol. 2014; 8(1):20-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In 2009 a prospective, randomized Phase II trial (NCT00842998) was initiated to evaluate the activity of HER2-targeting agents without chemotherapy (CT) in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The primary tumors of the patients enrolled in this study offered a unique opportunity to identify biomarkers that could predict durable clinical benefit from CT-free anti-HER2 therapy. Patients with HER2-positive MBC were randomized to trastuzumab or lapatinib as first-line therapy. CT was added to anti-HER2 therapy in patients failing to achieve tumor regression at the 8-week evaluation and in those progressing at any time. Expression analysis of 105 selected genes was performed from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumor samples. The research-based PAM50 intrinsic subtypes were also identified. Additionally, quantitative HER2 (H2T) and p95HER2 (p95) protein expression were evaluated by HERmark® and VeraTag® assay, respectively. Predictors of persistence on protocol (PP) were studied by Cox univariate and multivariate analysis. Nineteen patients were enrolled. Median overall survival was 43 months and median PP was 3.8 months (0.8-38.8+), with 4 patients (21.1%) persisting on single agent trastuzumab or lapatinib for longer than 12 mo (14.9-38.8 + mo). Seventeen patients were evaluable for PP. Gene expression analysis revealed that high expression of the 17q12-21 amplicon genes HER2 and GRB7, and the PAM50 HER2-enriched intrinsic profile, were significantly associated with longer PP. Conversely, high expression of luminal-related genes such as PGR, MDM2 or PIK3CA, or the PAM50 luminal intrinsic profile correlated with reduced PP. Moreover, increasing H2T/p95 ratio was found to be significantly associated with longer PP (HR 0.56 per 2-fold increase in H2T/p95, P = 0.0015). Our data suggest that patients belonging to the "HER2-enriched" subtype and/or having high H2T/p95 protein expression ratio are exquisitely sensitive to anti-HER2 agents. MBC patients with these tumors could be candidates for studies aimed at establishing chemotherapy-free regimens.

Bose R
A neu view of invasive lobular breast cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(13):3331-3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome sequencing of relapsed, invasive lobular breast cancer identified actionable mutations in 86% of the cases. HER2 alterations occur in 27% of the cases, including 4 cases with activating HER2 mutations and 1 with a novel HER2-GRB7 gene fusion. This fusion links the HER2 tyrosine kinase domain to the GRB7 src homology 2 (SH2) domain.

Zhang EY, Cristofanilli M, Robertson F, et al.
Genome wide proteomics of ERBB2 and EGFR and other oncogenic pathways in inflammatory breast cancer.
J Proteome Res. 2013; 12(6):2805-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study we selected three breast cancer cell lines (SKBR3, SUM149 and SUM190) with different oncogene expression levels involved in ERBB2 and EGFR signaling pathways as a model system for the evaluation of selective integration of subsets of transcriptomic and proteomic data. We assessed the oncogene status with reads per kilobase per million mapped reads (RPKM) values for ERBB2 (14.4, 400, and 300 for SUM149, SUM190, and SKBR3, respectively) and for EGFR (60.1, not detected, and 1.4 for the same 3 cell lines). We then used RNA-Seq data to identify those oncogenes with significant transcript levels in these cell lines (total 31) and interrogated the corresponding proteomics data sets for proteins with significant interaction values with these oncogenes. The number of observed interactors for each oncogene showed a significant range, e.g., 4.2% (JAK1) to 27.3% (MYC). The percentage is measured as a fraction of the total protein interactions in a given data set vs total interactors for that oncogene in STRING (Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins, version 9.0) and I2D (Interologous Interaction Database, version 1.95). This approach allowed us to focus on 4 main oncogenes, ERBB2, EGFR, MYC, and GRB2, for pathway analysis. We used bioinformatics sites GeneGo, PathwayCommons and NCI receptor signaling networks to identify pathways that contained the four main oncogenes and had good coverage in the transcriptomic and proteomic data sets as well as a significant number of oncogene interactors. The four pathways identified were ERBB signaling, EGFR1 signaling, integrin outside-in signaling, and validated targets of C-MYC transcriptional activation. The greater dynamic range of the RNA-Seq values allowed the use of transcript ratios to correlate observed protein values with the relative levels of the ERBB2 and EGFR transcripts in each of the four pathways. This provided us with potential proteomic signatures for the SUM149 and 190 cell lines, growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (GRB7), Crk-like protein (CRKL) and Catenin delta-1 (CTNND1) for ERBB signaling; caveolin 1 (CAV1), plectin (PLEC) for EGFR signaling; filamin A (FLNA) and actinin alpha1 (ACTN1) (associated with high levels of EGFR transcript) for integrin signalings; branched chain amino-acid transaminase 1 (BCAT1), carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase (CAD), nucleolin (NCL) (high levels of EGFR transcript); transferrin receptor (TFRC), metadherin (MTDH) (high levels of ERBB2 transcript) for MYC signaling; S100-A2 protein (S100A2), caveolin 1 (CAV1), Serpin B5 (SERPINB5), stratifin (SFN), PYD and CARD domain containing (PYCARD), and EPH receptor A2 (EPHA2) for PI3K signaling, p53 subpathway. Future studies of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), from which the cell lines were derived, will be used to explore the significance of these observations.

Jacot W, Fiche M, Zaman K, et al.
The HER2 amplicon in breast cancer: Topoisomerase IIA and beyond.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1836(1):146-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2 gene amplification is observed in about 15% of breast cancers. The subgroup of HER2-positive breast cancers appears to be heterogeneous and presents complex patterns of gene amplification at the locus on chromosome 17q12-21. The molecular variations within the chromosome 17q amplicon and their clinical implications remain largely unknown. Besides the well-known TOP2A gene encoding Topoisomerase IIA, other genes might also be amplified and could play functional roles in breast cancer development and progression. This review will focus on the current knowledge concerning the HER2 amplicon heterogeneity, its clinical and biological impact and the pitfalls associated with the evaluation of gene amplifications at this locus, with particular attention to TOP2A and the link between TOP2A and anthracycline benefit. In addition it will discuss the clinical and biological implications of the amplification of ten other genes at this locus (MED1, STARD3, GRB7, THRA, RARA, IGFPB4, CCR7, KRT20, KRT19 and GAST) in breast cancer.

Bravatà V, Cammarata FP, Forte GI, Minafra L
"Omics" of HER2-positive breast cancer.
OMICS. 2013; 17(3):119-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2/neu amplification/overexpression is the only somatic mutation widely considered to be a marker of disease outcome and response to treatment in breast cancer. Pathologists have made large efforts to achieve accuracy in characterizing HER2/neu status. The introduction of transtuzumab contributed to development of additional measures to identify sensitive and resistant subclasses of HER2/neu-positive tumors. In this article, we describe the latest advances in HER2/neu status diagnostic assessment and the most relevant research emerging from "Omics" (genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, and proteomics) studies on HER2/neu-positive breast cancer. A large quantity of biomarkers from different studies highlighted HER2/neu-positive specific proliferation, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis mechanisms, as well as immunological and metabolic behavior. Major driver genes of tumor progression have had a candidate status (GRB7, MYC, CCND1, EGFR, etc.), even though the main role for HER2/neu is largely recognized. Nonetheless, existing omics data and HER2/neu-positive molecular profiles seem to suggest that few proteogenomic alterations in HER2, EGFR, and PI3K networks could significantly affect the effectiveness of transtuzumab. The systematic search of molecular alterations in and across these pathways can help to select the most appropriate drug for a given patient based on in-depth understanding of complexity in tumor biology.

Sahlberg KK, Hongisto V, Edgren H, et al.
The HER2 amplicon includes several genes required for the growth and survival of HER2 positive breast cancer cells.
Mol Oncol. 2013; 7(3):392-401 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
About 20% of breast cancers are characterized by amplification and overexpression of the HER2 oncogene. Although significant progress has been achieved for treating such patients with HER2 inhibitor trastuzumab, more than half of the patients respond poorly or become resistant to the treatment. Since the HER2 amplicon at 17q12 contains multiple genes, we have systematically explored the role of the HER2 co-amplified genes in breast cancer cell growth and their relation to trastuzumab resistance. We integrated aCGH data of the HER2 amplicon from 71 HER2 positive breast tumors and 10 cell lines with systematic functional RNA interference analysis of 23 core amplicon genes with several phenotypic endpoints in a panel of trastuzumab responding and non-responding HER2 positive breast cancer cells. Silencing of HER2 caused a greater growth arrest and apoptosis in the responding compared to the non-responding cell lines, indicating that the resistant cells are inherently less dependent on the HER2 pathway. Several other genes in the amplicon also showed a more pronounced effect when silenced; indicating that expression of HER2 co-amplified genes may be needed to sustain the growth of breast cancer cells. Importantly, co-silencing of STARD3, GRB7, PSMD3 and PERLD1 together with HER2 led to an additive inhibition of cell viability as well as induced apoptosis. These studies indicate that breast cancer cells may become addicted to the amplification of several genes that reside in the HER2 amplicon. The simultaneous targeting of these genes may increase the efficacy of the anti-HER2 therapies and possibly also counteract trastuzumab resistance. The observed additive effects seem to culminate to both apoptosis and cell proliferation pathways indicating that these pathways may be interesting targets for combinatorial treatment of HER2+ breast cancers.

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