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Cancer Res. 2014 Jul 15;74(14):3821-33. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2053. Epub 2014 May 29.

Neuromedin U: a candidate biomarker and therapeutic target to predict and overcome resistance to HER-tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Author information

1
Authors' Affiliations: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences & Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin;
2
Department of Physiology & Medical Physics, Centre for Systems Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland;
3
Molecular Therapeutics for Cancer Ireland, Dublin City University;
4
Department of Oncology, St. Vincent's University Hospital; and.
5
Department of Physiology & Medical Physics, Centre for Systems Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, University College Dublin, Conway Institute, Dublin, Ireland.
6
Authors' Affiliations: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences & Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin; lodrisc@tcd.ie.

Abstract

Intrinsic and acquired resistance to HER-targeting drugs occurs in a significant proportion of HER2-overexpressing breast cancers. Thus, there remains a need to identify predictive biomarkers that could improve patient selection and circumvent these types of drug resistance. Here, we report the identification of neuromedin U (NmU) as an extracellular biomarker in cells resistant to HER-targeted drugs. NmU overexpression occurred in cells with acquired or innate resistance to lapatinib, trastuzumab, neratinib, and afatinib, all of which displayed a similar trend upon short-term exposure, suggesting NmU induction may be an early response. An analysis of 3,489 cases of breast cancer showed NmU to be associated with poor patient outcome, particularly those with HER2-overexpressing tumors independent of established prognostic indicators. Ectopic overexpression of NmU in drug-sensitive cells conferred resistance to all HER-targeting drugs, whereas RNAi-mediated attenuation sensitized cells exhibiting acquired or innate drug resistance. Mechanistic investigations suggested that NmU acted through HSP27 as partner protein to stabilize HER2 protein levels. We also obtained evidence of functional NmU receptors on HER2-overexpressing cells, with the addition of exogenous NmU eliciting an elevation in HER2 and EGFR expression along with drug resistance. Finally, we found that NmU seemed to function in cell motility, invasion, and anoikis resistance. In vivo studies revealed that NmU attenuation impaired tumor growth and metastasis. Taken together, our results defined NmU as a candidate drug response biomarker for HER2-overexpressing cancers and as a candidate therapeutic target to limit metastatic progression and improve the efficacy of HER-targeted drugs.

PMID:
24876102
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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