Additive effects of a prolactin receptor antagonist, G129R, and herceptin on inhibition of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells

Published on Friday, 03 August 2018


Breast cancers overexpressing human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) have been reported to have higher proliferative and metastatic activity in the presence of autocrine prolactin (PRL), indicating potential cooperation between HER2 and the PRL receptor (PRLR) during breast cancer progression.

PRL can induce the tyrosine phosphorylation of HER2 which stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity. To determine if this transactivation of HER2 by PRL contributes to anti-HER2 therapy resistance we examined the potential of combining Herceptin with a PRLR antagonist, G129R, which inhibits PRL-induced signaling, as a novel therapeutic strategy.

Two PRL-expressing human breast cancer cell lines (T-47D and BT-474) that overexpress PRLR and HER2 to different degrees were chosen for this study. The phosphorylation status of HER2 and activation of MAPK, signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT), as well as phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling cascades were examined in response to Herceptin, G129R or a combination of the two in either the absence or presence of exogenous PRL. As a single agent, Herceptin was more effective than G129R at inhibiting AKT phosphorylation; whereas, G129R was superior at blocking STAT3 and STAT5 activation. G129R was also able to directly inhibit the HER2 phosphorylation. The combination of Herceptin and G129R had an additive inhibitory effect on HER2 and MAPK phosphorylation, confirming that the MAPK signaling is a converging pathway shared by both HER2 and the PRLR.

Combination of Herceptin and G129R also additively inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo as measured by inhibition of the growth of T-47D and BT-474 xenografts in athymic nude mice.

We conclude that an anti-HER2 and anti-PRLR regimen may offer a new approach to treat HER2-overexpressing breast cancers.


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See also:

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Bromocriptine/Cabergoline);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide and/or Hydroxyurea tablets, one or two per day);

- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.