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Int J Cancer. 2005 Jul 1;115(4):519-27.

Anti-HER-3 MAbs inhibit HER-3-mediated signaling in breast cancer cell lines resistant to anti-HER-2 antibodies.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Munich, Germany.


Two members of the EGF receptor family, HER2 and HER3, act as key oncogenes in breast cancer cells. A MAb against HER2, trastuzumab, interferes with HER2 signaling and istherapeutically effective in humans. Here, we explored the biologic effects of an antibody against HER3 (alpha-HER3ECD) in the invasive breast cancer cell lines MCF-7ADR and MDA-MB-468. Pretreating the breast cancer cells with alpha-HER3ECD prior to Heregulin stimulation caused significant reduction of the migratory and proliferative properties. This reduction is due to a substantial decrease in the tyrosine phosphorylation content of HER2 and to a modification of the HER2/HER3 association, which ultimately inhibits the activity of the downstream effectors phosphatidyinositol-3-OH-kinase and c-jun-terminal kinase. Furthermore, HER3 is internalized and not activated by HRG after pretreatment with alpha-HER3ECD. Our data reinforce the notion that HER3 could be a key target in cancer drug design and show the great potential of anti-HER3 antibodies for the therapy of breast cancer and other malignancies characterized by overexpression of HER3.

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