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Cancer Gene Ther. 2008 Jul;15(7):413-48. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2008.15. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

The ERBB3 receptor in cancer and cancer gene therapy.

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SAIC-Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


ERBB3, a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family, is unique in that its tyrosine kinase domain is functionally defective. It is activated by neuregulins, by other ERBB and nonERBB receptors as well as by other kinases, and by novel mechanisms. Downstream it interacts prominently with the phosphoinositol 3-kinase/AKT survival/mitogenic pathway, but also with GRB, SHC, SRC, ABL, rasGAP, SYK and the transcription regulator EBP1. There are likely important but poorly understood roles for nuclear localization and for secreted isoforms. Studies of ERBB3 expression in primary cancers and of its mechanistic contributions in cultured cells have implicated it, with varying degrees of certainty, with causation or sustenance of cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, certain brain cells, retina, melanocytes, colon, pancreas, stomach, oral cavity and lung. Recent results link high ERBB3 activity with escape from therapy targeting other ERBBs in lung and breast cancers. Thus a wide and centrally important role for ERBB3 in cancer is becoming increasingly apparent. Several approaches for targeting ERBB3 in cancers have been tested or proposed. Small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) to ERBB3 or AKT is showing promise as a therapeutic approach to treatment of lung adenocarcinoma.

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