Research Papers:

Activation of cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) contributes to lapatinib resistance through induction of CIP2A-Akt feedback loop in ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells

Ming Zhao, Erin W. Howard, Amanda B. Parris, Zhiying Guo, Qingxia Zhao, Zhikun Ma, Ying Xing, Bolin Liu, Susan M. Edgerton, Ann D. Thor and Xiaohe Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:58847-58864. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19375

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Ming Zhao1, Erin W. Howard1, Amanda B. Parris1, Zhiying Guo1, Qingxia Zhao1,2, Zhikun Ma1, Ying Xing2, Bolin Liu3, Susan M. Edgerton3, Ann D. Thor3 and Xiaohe Yang1,4

1Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute and Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Kannapolis, North Carolina, USA

2Basic Medical College of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, P.R. China

3Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA

4College of Medicine, Henan University of Sciences and Technology, Luoyang, Henan, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Xiaohe Yang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CIP2A, lapatinib resistance, ErbB2, breast cancer, PP2A

Received: November 05, 2016     Accepted: July 11, 2017     Published: July 19, 2017


Lapatinib, a small molecule ErbB2/EGFR inhibitor, is FDA-approved for the treatment of metastatic ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer; however, lapatinib resistance is an emerging clinical challenge. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of lapatinib-mediated anti-cancer activities and identifying relevant resistance factors are of pivotal significance. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) is a recently identified oncoprotein that is overexpressed in breast cancer. Our study investigated the role of CIP2A in the anti-cancer efficacy of lapatinib in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. We found that lapatinib concurrently downregulated CIP2A and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in ErbB2-overexpressing SKBR3 and 78617 cells; however, these effects were attenuated in lapatinib-resistant (LR) cells. CIP2A overexpression rendered SKBR3 and 78617 cells resistant to lapatinib-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition. Conversely, CIP2A knockdown via lentiviral shRNA enhanced cell sensitivity to lapatinib-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis. Results also suggested that lapatinib downregulated CIP2A through regulation of protein stability. We further demonstrated that lapatinib-induced CIP2A downregulation can be recapitulated by LY294002, suggesting that Akt mediates CIP2A upregulation. Importantly, lapatinib induced differential CIP2A downregulation between parental BT474 and BT474/LR cell lines. Moreover, CIP2A shRNA knockdown significantly sensitized the BT474/LR cells to lapatinib. Collectively, our results demonstrate that CIP2A is a molecular target and resistance factor of lapatinib with a critical role in lapatinib-induced cellular responses, including the inhibition of the CIP2A-Akt feedback loop. Further investigation of lapatinib-mediated CIP2A regulation will advance our understanding of lapatinib-associated anti-tumor activities and drug resistance.

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