Scientific article
Open access

Hyperactivation of MAPK Induces Tamoxifen Resistance in SPRED2-Deficient ERα-Positive Breast Cancer

Published inCancers, vol. 14, no. 4, 954
Publication date2022-02-14
First online date2022-02-14

Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related mortality in women worldwide. Most breast tumors depend on the expression of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) for their growth. For this reason, targeting ERα with antagonists such as tamoxifen is the therapy of choice for most patients. Although initially responsive to tamoxifen, about 40% of the patients will develop resistance and ultimately a recurrence of the disease. Thus, finding new biomarkers and therapeutic approaches to treatment-resistant tumors is of high significance. SPRED2, an inhibitor of the MAPK signal transduction pathway, has been found to be downregulated in various cancers. In the present study, we found that SPRED2 is downregulated in a large proportion of breast-cancer patients. Moreover, the knockdown of SPRED2 significantly increases cell proliferation and leads to tamoxifen resistance of breast-cancer cells that are initially tamoxifen-sensitive. We found that resistance occurs through increased activation of the MAPKs ERK1/ERK2, which enhances the transcriptional activity of ERα. Treatment of SPRED2-deficient breast cancer cells with a combination of the ERK 1/2 inhibitor ulixertinib and 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) can inhibit cell growth and proliferation and overcome the induced tamoxifen resistance. Taken together, these results indicate that SPRED2 may also be a tumor suppressor for breast cancer and that it is a key regulator of cellular sensitivity to 4-OHT.

  • ERα
  • SPRED2
  • Breast cancer
  • Endocrine resistance
  • Precision medicine
  • Tamoxifen
  • Ulixertinib
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
VAFEIADOU, Vasiliki, HANY, Dina, PICARD, Didier. Hyperactivation of MAPK Induces Tamoxifen Resistance in SPRED2-Deficient ERα-Positive Breast Cancer. In: Cancers, 2022, vol. 14, n° 4, p. 954. doi: 10.3390/cancers14040954
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2072-6694

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