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Cell Signal. 2010 Sep;22(9):1369-78. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.05.006. Epub 2010 May 12.

PI3K/Akt-sensitive MEK-independent compensatory circuit of ERK activation in ER-positive PI3K-mutant T47D breast cancer cells.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Abstract

We explored the crosstalk between cell survival (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt) and mitogenic (Ras/Raf/MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)) signaling pathways activated by an epidermal growth factor (EGF) and analyzed their sensitivity to small molecule inhibitors in the PI3K-mutant estrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF7 and T47D breast cancer cells. In contrast to MCF7 cells, ERK phosphorylation in T47D cells displayed resistance to MEK inhibition by several structurally different compounds, such as U0126, PD 098059 and PD 198306, MEK suppression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and was also less sensitive to PI3K inhibition by wortmannin. Similar effect was observed in PI3K-wild type ER-positive BT-474 cells, albeit to a much lesser extent. MEK-independent ERK activation was induced only by ErbB receptor ligands and was resistant to inhibition of several kinases and phosphatases that are known to participate in the regulation of Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade. Although single agents against PDK1 or Akt did not affect EGF-induced ERK phosphorylation, a combination of PI3K/Akt and MEK inhibitors synergistically suppressed ERK activation and cellular growth. siRNA-mediated silencing of class I PI3K or Akt1/2 genes also significantly decreased U0126-resistant ERK phosphorylation. Our data suggest that in T47D cells ErbB family ligands induce a dynamic, PI3K/Akt-sensitive and MEK-independent compensatory ERK activation circuit that is absent in MCF7 cells. We discuss candidate proteins that can be involved in this activation circuitry and suggest that PDZ-Binding Kinase/T-LAK Cell-Originated Protein Kinase (PBK/TOPK) may play a role in mediating MEK-independent ERK activation.

PMID:
20471474
PMCID:
PMC2893265
DOI:
10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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