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Title: HER2 expression identifies dynamic functional states within circulating breast cancer cells      
keywords:
Transcriptome or Gene expression
ID:
PRJNA304018
description:
Circulating tumour cells in women with advanced oestrogen-receptor (ER)-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer acquire a HER2-positive subpopulation after multiple courses of therapy. In contrast to HER2-amplified primary breast cancer, which is highly sensitive to HER2-targeted therapy, the clinical significance of acquired HER2 heterogeneity during the evolution of metastatic breast cancer is unknown. Here we analyse circulating tumour cells from 19 women with ER+/HER2- primary tumours, 84% of whom had acquired circulating tumour cells expressing HER2. Cultured circulating tumour cells maintain discrete HER2+ and HER2- subpopulations: HER2+ circulating tumour cells are more proliferative but not addicted to HER2, consistent with activation of multiple signalling pathways; HER2- circulating tumour cells show activation of Notch and DNA damage pathways, exhibiting resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy, but sensitivity to Notch inhibition. HER2+ and HER2- circulating tumour cells interconvert spontaneously, with cells of one phenotype producing daughters of the opposite within four cell doublings. Although HER2+ and HER2- circulating tumour cells have comparable tumour initiating potential, differential proliferation favours the HER2+ state, while oxidative stress or cytotoxic chemotherapy enhances transition to the HER2- phenotype. Simultaneous treatment with paclitaxel and Notch inhibitors achieves sustained suppression of tumorigenesis in orthotopic circulating tumour cell-derived tumour models. Together, these results point to distinct yet interconverting phenotypes within patient-derived circulating tumour cells, contributing to progression of breast cancer and acquisition of drug resistance. Overall design: Seventy-four single candidate CTCs from two representative ER+/HER2- patients (BRx-42 and BRx-82) and 14 triple negative patients were isolated via micromanipulation and subjected to single-cell RNA-sequencing. Thirteen candidate CTCs expressed PTPRC at a level higher than 10 reads-per-million, so were deemed potential White Blood Cells and therefore dropped from further consideration. Expression profiles of CTCs expressing ERBB2 at a level greater than 10 RPM were compared with those expressing ERBB2 at a level less than 10 RPM.
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landingpage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/PRJNA304018
authentication:
none
authorization:
none
ID:
pmid:27556950
name:
Homo sapiens
ncbiID:
ncbitax:9606
abbreviation:
NCBI
homePage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
ID:
SCR:006472
name:
National Center for Biotechnology Information
homePage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject
ID:
SCR:004801
name:
NCBI BioProject
  • R01 CA129933/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States

  • U01 EB012493/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States

  • T32 GM007753/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute/United States

  • F32 CA009361/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States

  • K12 CA087723/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States

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