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Cancer Cell. 2009 Sep 8;16(3):195-207. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2009.08.010.

14-3-3zeta Cooperates with ErbB2 to promote ductal carcinoma in situ progression to invasive breast cancer by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


ErbB2, a metastasis-promoting oncoprotein, is overexpressed in approximately 25% of invasive/metastatic breast cancers, but in 50%-60% of noninvasive ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS). It has been puzzling how a subset of ErbB2-overexpressing DCIS develops into invasive breast cancer (IBC). We found that co-overexpression of 14-3-3zeta in ErbB2-overexpressing DCIS conferred a higher risk of progression to IBC. ErbB2 and 14-3-3zeta overexpression, respectively, increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion, two prerequisites of tumor cell invasion. 14-3-3zeta overexpression reduced cell adhesion by activating the TGF-beta/Smads pathway that led to ZFHX1B/SIP-1 upregulation, E-cadherin loss, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Importantly, patients whose breast tumors overexpressed both ErbB2 and 14-3-3zeta had higher rates of metastatic recurrence and death than those whose tumors overexpressed only one.

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