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Cell. 2006 Aug 11;126(3):489-502.

Beta 4 integrin amplifies ErbB2 signaling to promote mammary tumorigenesis.

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Cell Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021 USA.


Amplification of the ErbB2 locus, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, is common in aggressive breast tumors and correlates with poor prognosis. The mechanisms underlying ErbB2-mediated breast carcinoma progression remain incompletely defined. To examine the role of the signaling and cell-adhesion receptor beta 4 integrin during ErbB2-mediated tumorigenesis, we introduced a targeted deletion of the beta 4 signaling domain into a mouse model of ErbB2-induced mammary carcinoma. Loss of beta 4 signaling suppresses mammary tumor onset and invasive growth. Ex vivo studies indicate that beta 4 forms a complex with ErbB2 and enhances activation of the transcription factors STAT3 and c-Jun. STAT3 contributes to disruption of epithelial adhesion and polarity, while c-Jun is required for hyperproliferation. Finally, deletion of the beta 4 signaling domain enhances the efficacy of ErbB2-targeted therapy. These results indicate that beta 4 integrin promotes tumor progression by amplifying ErbB2 signaling and identify beta 4 as a potential target for molecular therapy of breast cancer.

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