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HER2 mediates epidermal growth factor-induced down-regulation of E-cadherin in human ovarian cancer cells

Cheng, Jung-Chien, Qiu, Xin, Chang, Hsun-Ming, Leung, Peter C.K.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2013 v.434 pp. 81-86
humans, prognosis, epithelial cells, tyrosine, neoplasm cells, small interfering RNA, patients, mammary glands, repressor proteins, receptors, gene expression regulation, animal ovaries, ovarian neoplasms
Overexpression of HER2 is correlated with a poor prognosis in many types of human cancers. Due to the interaction between HER2 and other ErbB receptors, HER2 is implicated in the EGF family of ligands-regulated tumor progression. In ovarian cancer, although the relationships between HER2 amplification and patient prognosis remain controversial, the underlying molecular mechanisms of HER2-mediated tumor progression are not fully understood. Our previous studies demonstrated that EGF induces ovarian cancer cell invasion by down-regulating E-cadherin expression through the up-regulation of its transcriptional repressors, Snail and Slug. It has been shown that overexpression of HER2 down-regulates E-cadherin expression in human mammary epithelial cells. However, whether HER2 mediates EGF-induced down-regulation of E-cadherin remains unknown. In this study, we examined the potential role of HER2 in EGF-induced down-regulation of E-cadherin and increased cell invasion. We show that EGF treatment induces the interaction of EGFR with HER2 and increases the activation of HER2 in human ovarian cancer cells; we also show that these effects are diminished by knockdown of EGFR. Importantly, treatment with HER2-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AG825, and HER2 siRNA diminished the up-regulation of Snail and Slug as well as the down-regulation of E-cadherin by EGF. Finally, we also show that EGF-induced cell invasion was attenuated by treatment with HER2 siRNA. This study demonstrates an important role for HER2 in mediating the effects of EGF on Snail, Slug and E-cadherin expression as well as invasiveness in human ovarian cancer cells.