Research Papers:

Prostate derived Ets transcription factor and Carcinoembryonic antigen related cell adhesion molecule 6 constitute a highly active oncogenic axis in breast cancer

Alka Mukhopadhyay, Thaer Khoury, Leighton Stein, Protul Shrikant and Ashwani K. Sood _

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Oncotarget. 2013; 4:610-621. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.934

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Alka Mukhopadhyay1, Thaer Khoury2, Leighton Stein3, Protul Shrikant1 and Ashwani K Sood1

1 Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

2 Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

3 Department of Gene Expression Core Laboratory, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY


Ashwani K Sood, email:

Keywords: PDEF, SPDEF, CEACAM6, Elevated co-expression, Tumor cell survival, PDEF-CEACAM6 oncogenic axis, Novel targets in breast cancer

Received: March 15, 2013 Accepted: April 8, 2013 Published:April 10, 2013


We previously reported overexpression of Prostate derived Ets transcription factor (PDEF) in breast cancer and its role in breast cancer progression, supporting PDEF as an attractive target in this cancer. The goal of this research was to identify specific PDEF induced molecules that, like PDEF, show overexpression in breast tumors and a role in breast tumor progression. PDEF expression was down regulated by shRNA in MCF-7 human breast tumor cell line, and probes from PDEF down-regulated and control MCF-7 cells were used to screen the HG-U133A human gene chips. These analyses identified 1318 genes that were induced two-fold or higher by PDEF in MCF-7 cells. Further analysis of three of these genes, namely CEACAM6, S100A7 and B7-H4, in relation to PDEF in primary breast tumors showed that in 82% of ER+, 67% of Her2 overexpressing and 24% of triple-negative breast tumors both PDEF and CEACAM6 expression was elevated 10-fold or higher in comparison to normal breast tissue. Overall, 72% (94 of 131) of the primary breast tumors showed 10-fold or higher expression of both PDEF and CEACAM6. In contrast, S100A7 and B7-H4 failed to show concordant elevated expression with PDEF in primary tumors. To determine the significance of elevated PDEF and CEACAM6 expression to tumor phenotype, their expression was down regulated by specific siRNAs in human breast tumor cell lines. This resulted in the loss of viability of tumor cells in vitro, supporting an oncogenic role for both PDEF and CEACAM6 in breast cancer. Together, these findings show that PDEF-CEACAM6 is a highly active oncogenic axis in breast cancer and suggest that targeting of these molecules should provide novel treatments for most breast cancer patients.

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