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Yeon A Choi, Ja Seung Koo, Jeong Su Park, Mi Young Park, Ae Lee Jeong, Ki-Sook Oh, and Young Yang

Cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) stimulates the proliferation of various cancer cells, and 17β-estradiol (E2) enhances the proliferation of breast cancer cells. E2 activates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), stimulating the MEK1/2 and PI3K pathways, and CIP2A expression is increased by the MEK1/2-induced transcription factor ETS1. It is possible for E2 to increase CIP2A expression. This study examined whether E2 could increase CIP2A expression and whether CIP2A is highly expressed in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer tissues. E2 increased CIP2A expression at the translational level in a c-MYC-independent manner in MCF-7 cells. E2-enhanced proliferation was impaired without CIP2A expression. E2-stimulated EGFR activated the MAPK and PI3K pathways, which converged to activate p70 S6 kinase (S6K). Phosphorylation at all the three phosphorylation sites (S424/T421, T229, and T389) on S6K was required for the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4B (eIF4B), which was responsible for the increase in CIP2A translation. Furthermore, CIP2A expression was higher in ER-positive tissues than in ER-negative tissues. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that CIP2A is a key factor in E2-enhanced proliferation and that estrogen regulates CIP2A expression by non-genomic action through EGFR.

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Yeon-Sook Choi, Hyemi Kwon, Mi-Hyeon You, Tae Yong Kim, Won Bae Kim, Young Kee Shong, Min Ji Jeon, and Won Gu Kim

Dabrafenib is a BRAF kinase inhibitor approved for treatment of BRAF-mutated anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) in combination with trametinib. Erlotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of EGF receptor (EGFR). We evaluated effects of dabrafenib and erlotinib combination treatment on ATC cells in vitro and in vivo. Cell proliferation, colony formation, apoptosis, and migration of ATC cells harboring a BRAF mutation (BHT101, 8505C, and SW1736) were evaluated after treatment with dabrafenib in combination with erlotinib or trametinib. The changes in activation of mitogen extracellular kinase (MEK) and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) signaling were also evaluated by Western blot analysis. Effects of these combinations were also evaluated using an in vivo xenograft model. First, we detected EGFR activation in dabrafenib-resistant SW1736 cells using a phospho-receptor tyrosine kinase array. A dabrafenib and erlotinib combination synergistically inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, and migration, with an induction of apoptotic cell death in all three ATC cells, compared with dabrafenib or erlotinib alone. This synergistic effect was comparable with a dabrafenib and trametinib combination. The dabrafenib and erlotinib combination effectively inhibited phosphorylated (p)-MEK, p-ERK, and p-EGFR expressions compared with dabrafenib or erlotinib alone, while the dabrafenib and trametinib combination only inhibited p-MEK and p-ERK expressions. The dabrafenib with erlotinib or trametinib combinations also significantly suppressed tumor growth and induced apoptosis in a BHT101 xenograft model. The dabrafenib and erlotinib combination could be a potential novel treatment regimen to overcome drug resistance to dabrafenib alone in patients with BRAF-mutated ATC.