Gene Summary

Gene:ERBB3; erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 3
Aliases: HER3, FERLK, LCCS2, ErbB-3, c-erbB3, erbB3-S, MDA-BF-1, c-erbB-3, p180-ErbB3, p45-sErbB3, p85-sErbB3
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family of receptor tyrosine kinases. This membrane-bound protein has a neuregulin binding domain but not an active kinase domain. It therefore can bind this ligand but not convey the signal into the cell through protein phosphorylation. However, it does form heterodimers with other EGF receptor family members which do have kinase activity. Heterodimerization leads to the activation of pathways which lead to cell proliferation or differentiation. Amplification of this gene and/or overexpression of its protein have been reported in numerous cancers, including prostate, bladder, and breast tumors. Alternate transcriptional splice variants encoding different isoforms have been characterized. One isoform lacks the intermembrane region and is secreted outside the cell. This form acts to modulate the activity of the membrane-bound form. Additional splice variants have also been reported, but they have not been thoroughly characterized. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ERBB3 (cancer-related)

Dimou A, Camidge DR
Detection of
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(16):4865-4867 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fusions between

Zhu LX, Liu Q, Hua YF, et al.
Systematic Profiling and Evaluation of Structure-based Kinase-Inhibitor Interactome in Cervical Cancer by Integrating In Silico Analyses and In Vitro Assays at Molecular and Cellular Levels.
Comput Biol Chem. 2019; 80:324-332 [PubMed] Related Publications
Various protein kinases are implicated in the pathogenesis of human cervical cancer and many kinase inhibitors have been used to regulate the activity of protein kinases involved in the disease signaling networks. In the present study, a systematic kinase-inhibitor interactome is created for various small-molecule inhibitors across diverse cervical cancer-related kinases by using ontology enrichment, molecular docking, dynamics simulation and energetics analysis. The interactome profile is examined in detail with heatmap analysis and heuristic clustering to derive promising inhibitors that are highly potential to target the kinome of human cervical cancer in a multi-target manner. A number of hit and unhit inhibitors are selected and their cell-suppressing effects are tested against human cervical carcinoma HeLa, from which several inhibitor compounds with high cytotoxicity are successfully identified. A further kinase assay confirms that these inhibitors can generally target their noncognate kinases HER3 and BRaf in cervical cancer with a high or moderate activity; the activity profile are comparable with or even better than that of cognate kinases inhibitors, with IC

Jones MR, Williamson LM, Topham JT, et al.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(15):4674-4681 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gene fusions involving neuregulin 1 (
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Forty-seven patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma received comprehensive whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing and analysis. Two patients with gene fusions involving
RESULTS: Three of 47 (6%) patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were identified as
CONCLUSIONS: This work adds to a growing body of evidence that

Saeinasab M, Bahrami AR, González J, et al.
SNHG15 is a bifunctional MYC-regulated noncoding locus encoding a lncRNA that promotes cell proliferation, invasion and drug resistance in colorectal cancer by interacting with AIF.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):172 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in various types of cancers, however our understanding of their role in the disease is still very limited.
METHODS: We applied RNAseq analysis from patient-derived data with validation in independent cohort of patients. We followed these studies with gene regulation analysis as well as experimental dissection of the role of the identified lncRNA by multiple in vitro and in vivo methods.
RESULTS: We analyzed RNA-seq data from tumors of 456 CRC patients compared to normal samples, and identified SNHG15 as a potentially oncogenic lncRNA that encodes a snoRNA in one of its introns. The processed SNHG15 is overexpressed in CRC tumors and its expression is highly correlated with poor survival of patients. Interestingly, SNHG15 is more highly expressed in tumors with high levels of MYC expression, while MYC protein binds to two E-box motifs on SNHG15 sequence, indicating that SNHG15 transcription is directly regulated by the oncogene MYC. The depletion of SNHG15 by siRNA or CRISPR-Cas9 inhibits cell proliferation and invasion, decreases colony formation as well as the tumorigenic capacity of CRC cells, whereas its overexpression leads to opposite effects. Gene expression analysis performed upon SNHG15 inhibition showed changes in multiple relevant genes implicated in cancer progression, including MYC, NRAS, BAG3 or ERBB3. Several of these genes are functionally related to AIF, a protein that we found to specifically interact with SNHG15, suggesting that the SNHG15 acts, at least in part, by regulating the activity of AIF. Interestingly, ROS levels, which are directly regulated by AIF, show a significant reduction in SNHG15-depleted cells. Moreover, knockdown of SNHG15 increases the sensitiveness of the cells to 5-FU, while its overexpression renders them more resistant to the chemotherapeutic drug.
CONCLUSION: Altogether, these results describe an important role of SNHG15 in promoting colon cancer and mediating drug resistance, suggesting its potential as prognostic marker and target for RNA-based therapies.

Lin T, Ren Q, Zuo W, et al.
Valproic acid exhibits anti-tumor activity selectively against EGFR/ErbB2/ErbB3-coexpressing pancreatic cancer via induction of ErbB family members-targeting microRNAs.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):150 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deregulated ErbB signaling plays an important role in tumorigenesis of pancreatic cancer. However, patients with pancreatic cancer benefit little from current existed therapies targeting the ErbB signaling. Here, we explore the potential anti-tumor activity of Valproic acid against pancreatic cancer via targeting ErbB family members.
METHODS: Cell viability assay and apoptosis evaluation were carried out to determine the efficacy of VPA on pancreatic cancer cells. Western blot analyses were performed to determine the expression and activation of proteins. Apoptosis enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantify cytoplasmic histone associated DNA fragments. Lentiviral expression system was used to introduce overexpression of exogeneous genes or gene-targeting short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs). qRT-PCR was carried out to analyze the mRNAs and miRNAs expression levels. Tumor xenograft model was established to evaluate the in vivo anti-pancreatic cancer activity of VPA.
RESULTS: VPA preferentially inhibited cell proliferation/survival of, and induced apoptosis in EGFR/ErbB2/ErbB3-coexpressing pancreatic cancer cells within its clinically achievable range [40~100 mg/L (0.24~0.6 mmol/L)]. Mechanistic investigations revealed that VPA treatment resulted in simultaneous significant down-regulation of EGFR, ErbB2, and ErbB3 in pancreatic cancer cells likely via induction of ErbB family members-targeting microRNAs. Moreover, the anti-pancreatic cancer activity of VPA was further validated in tumor xenograft model.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data strongly suggest that VPA may be added to the treatment regimens for pancreatic cancer patients with co-overexpression of the ErbB family members.

Ahmed A
Prevalence of Her3 in gastric cancer and its association with molecular prognostic markers: a Saudi cohort based study.
Libyan J Med. 2019; 14(1):1574532 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Her 3 is a member of epidermal growth factor receptors. Mutated, oncogenic Her3 is reported in gastric and colonic cancers with emerging evidence that Her3 can be a potential target for molecular therapies. There is a paucity of studies regarding Her3 and its prognostic implications in gastric cancer in our region. In this study, we evaluated prevalence of Her3 in gastric cancer, in a Saudi cohort of cases, along with its association with prognostic markers p53 and Ki-67. The study was conducted in Department of Pathology of King Fahd Hospital of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, KSA. Fifty cases of gastric carcinoma were selected from the pathology files that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Clinico-pathological parameters, Laurens histological classification, and immunohistochemical staining for Her3, p53, and Ki-67 were done. Her 3 positive cases were also evaluated for Her-2neu co-expression. Her3 positivity was seen in 16% (n = 8) out of a total of 50 cases. The median age of presentation was 44 years. Within Her3 positive cases, a female preponderance of 63% (n = 5), presence of high grade tumors in 75% (n = 6), diffuse gastric carcinoma in 63% (n = 5), diffuse to focal p53 positivity in 63% (n = 5), and a high to moderate Ki-67 proliferation index in 75% (n = 6) of cases was seen. Her3 expression was independent of Her-2neu status. Her3 prevalence of 16% with a median age of 44 years at presentation was less than in other reported studies, highlighting the concept of ethnic and regional variation in tumor characteristics. Her3 association with diffuse gastric carcinoma, high grade tumors, diffuse to focal p53 positivity and high to moderate Ki-67 proliferation index points towards a more aggressive clinical behavior.

Ma S, Jia S, Ren Y, et al.
ErbB3 Ligand Heregulin1 Is a Major Mitogenic Factor for Uncontrolled Lung Cancer Cell Proliferation.
Neoplasia. 2019; 21(4):343-352 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There are seven ligands for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ErbB1 and two ligands for ErbB3. EGFR can form a homodimer or a heterodimer with ErbB3. In this study, we investigated whether homodimers or heterodimers, and which ligand, play a major role in cancer development, with the goal of ultimately identifying therapeutic targets. We demonstrated that the ErbB3 ligand heregulin1 is the strongest mitogenic factor for non-small cell lung cancer cells and is more potent in activating EGFRmut-ErbB3 heterodimers than EGFRwt-ErbB3 heterodimers. We discovered that four of the seven EGFR ligands inhibited heregulin1-induced EGFRwt-ErbB3 activation and cell proliferation by promoting dephosphorylation of heregulin1-induced ErbB3 phosphorylation, whereas the other three did not exhibit such inhibition. Importantly, those four EGFR ligands did not inhibit heregulin1-induced EGFRmut-ErbB3 activation and proliferation of cells with EGFR mutants. We demonstrated that ErbB3 was overexpressed in the lung cancer cells but not in the adjacent normal alveoli or stromal tissue. EGFR and heregulin1 were also highly expressed in lung cancer cells. We conclude that the overexpression of heregulin1, ErbB3, and EGFR mutant renders uncontrolled cell proliferation.

Chen JY, Huang WC, Wei CT, et al.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(2):721-726 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Hepatitis B virus-encoded X protein (HBx) plays a pivotal role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression and treatment resistance. Interestingly, our previous study unexpectedly showed that full-length HBx sensitized HCC cells to lapatinib by up-regulating erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 3 (ERBB3). We further aimed to map the exact motif within the HBx sequence responsible for lapatinib sensitization.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The exact motif responsible for the lapatinib sensitization was assessed by construction of various fragments of HBx. Cell viability was examined by the MTT assay and crystal violet staining.
RESULTS: Our investigation found that lapatinib sensitivity and up-regulation of ERBB3 promoter activity were observed only in HCC cells expressing C-terminal residues of HBx. Furthermore, C-terminal HBx peptide induced ERBB3 protein expression and sensitivity to lapatinib.
CONCLUSION: These results not only indicate that the C-terminus of HBx is required for lapatinib sensitivity, but also provide clues to developing a predictive biomarker for response of HCC to lapatinib in the future.

Taniguchi H, Yamada T, Wang R, et al.
AXL confers intrinsic resistance to osimertinib and advances the emergence of tolerant cells.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):259 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A novel EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), osimertinib, has marked efficacy in patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancer. However, some patients show intrinsic resistance and an insufficient response to osimertinib. This study showed that osimertinib stimulated AXL by inhibiting a negative feedback loop. Activated AXL was associated with EGFR and HER3 in maintaining cell survival and inducing the emergence of cells tolerant to osimertinib. AXL inhibition reduced the viability of EGFR-mutated lung cancer cells overexpressing AXL that were exposed to osimertinib. The addition of an AXL inhibitor during either the initial or tolerant phases reduced tumor size and delayed tumor re-growth compared to osimertinib alone. AXL was highly expressed in clinical specimens of EGFR-mutated lung cancers and its high expression was associated with a low response rate to EGFR-TKI. These results indicated pivotal roles for AXL and its inhibition in the intrinsic resistance to osimertinib and the emergence of osimertinib-tolerant cells.

Moghbeli M, Makhdoumi Y, Soltani Delgosha M, et al.
ErbB1 and ErbB3 co-over expression as a prognostic factor in gastric cancer.
Biol Res. 2019; 52(1):2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor receptor family members such as ErbB1 and ErbB3 are involved in tumor progression and metastasis. Although, there are various reports about the prognostic value of EGFR members separately in gastric cancer, there is not any report about the probable correlation between ErbB1 and ErbB3 co-expression and gastric cancer prognosis. In present study, we assessed the correlation between ErbB1 and ErbB3 co-overexpression (in the level of mRNA and protein expression) and gastric cancer prognosis for the first time.
METHODS: ErbB1 and ErbB3 expressions were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR in 50 patients with gastric cancer. Parametric correlations were done between the ErbB1 and ErbB3 expression and clinicopathological features. Multivariate and logistic regression analyses were also done to assess the roles of ErbB1 and ErbB3 in tumor prognosis and survival.
RESULTS: There were significant correlations between ErbB1/ErbB3 co-overexpression and tumor size (p = 0.026), macroscopic features (p < 0.05), tumor differentiation (p < 0.05), stage of tumor (p < 0.05), and recurrence (p < 0.05). Moreover, ErbB1/ErbB3 co-overexpression may predict the survival status of patients (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: ErbB1 and ErbB3 co-overexpression is accompanied with the poor prognosis and can be used efficiently in targeted therapy of gastric cancer patients.

Turowec JP, Lau EWT, Wang X, et al.
Functional genomic characterization of a synthetic anti-HER3 antibody reveals a role for ubiquitination by RNF41 in the anti-proliferative response.
J Biol Chem. 2019; 294(4):1396-1409 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dysregulation of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases is involved in the progression of many cancers. Antibodies targeting the dimerization domains of family members EGFR and HER2 are approved cancer therapeutics, but efficacy is restricted to a subset of tumors and resistance often develops in response to treatment. A third family member, HER3, heterodimerizes with both EGFR and HER2 and has also been implicated in cancer. Consequently, there is strong interest in developing antibodies that target HER3, but to date, no therapeutics have been approved. To aid the development of anti-HER3 antibodies as cancer therapeutics, we combined antibody engineering and functional genomics screens to identify putative mechanisms of resistance or synthetic lethality with antibody-mediated anti-proliferative effects. We developed a synthetic antibody called IgG 95, which binds to HER3 and promotes ubiquitination, internalization, and receptor down-regulation. Using an shRNA library targeting enzymes in the ubiquitin proteasome system, we screened for genes that effect response to IgG 95 and uncovered the E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF41 as a driver of IgG 95 anti-proliferative activity. RNF41 has been shown previously to regulate HER3 levels under normal conditions and we now show that it is also responsible for down-regulation of HER3 upon treatment with IgG 95. Moreover, our findings suggest that down-regulation of RNF41 itself may be a mechanism for acquired resistance to treatment with IgG 95 and perhaps other anti-HER3 antibodies. Our work deepens our understanding of HER3 signaling by uncovering the mechanistic basis for the anti-proliferative effects of potential anti-HER3 antibody therapeutics.

Koutras A, Lazaridis G, Koliou GA, et al.
Evaluation of the prognostic value of all four HER family receptors in patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) study.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(12):e0207707 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the current study, we performed a complete analysis, with four different methods, of all four HER family receptors, in a series of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab-based regimens and evaluated their prognostic value. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples were collected from 227 patients, considered to be HER2-positive when assessed at the local laboratories. We evaluated gene amplification, copy number variations (CNVs), mRNA and protein expression of all four HER family members. In addition, our analysis included the evaluation of several other factors by immunohistochemistry (IHC), such as pHER2Tyr1221/1222, pHER2Tyr877 and PTEN. Central review of HER2 status by IHC and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that of the 227 patients, only 139 (61.2%) were truly HER2-positive. Regarding the 191 patients treated with trastuzumab as first-line therapy, median time to progression (TTP) was 15.3 and 10.4 months for HER2-positive and HER2-negative participants, respectively, whereas median survival was 50.4 and 38.1 months, respectively. In HER2-positive patients, high HER3 mRNA expression was of favorable prognostic significance for TTP and survival (HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21-0.88, Wald's p = 0.022 and HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21-0.88, p = 0.021, respectively), while EGFR copy gain and EGFR protein expression were associated with higher risk for disease progression in HER2-negative patients (HR = 3.53, 95% CI 1.19-10.50, p = 0.023 and HR = 3.37, 95% CI 1.12-10.17, p = 0.031, respectively). Positive HER3 protein expression was a favorable factor for TTP in HER2-negative patients (HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.22-0.84, p = 0.014). In the multivariate analysis, only EGFR copy gain retained its prognostic significance for TTP in the HER2-negative population (HR = 3.96, 95% CI 1.29-12.16, p = 0.016), while high HER3 mRNA expression retained its favorable prognostic significance for TTP in the HER2-positive subgroup (HR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.23-0.99, p = 0.048). The present study suggests that EGFR copy gain represents a negative prognostic factor for TTP in HER2-negative patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab. In addition, high HER3 mRNA expression appears to be of favorable prognostic significance for TTP in HER2-positive patients. Given the small number of patients included in the current analysis and the retrospective nature of the study, our findings should be validated in larger cohorts.

Roskoski R
Small molecule inhibitors targeting the EGFR/ErbB family of protein-tyrosine kinases in human cancers.
Pharmacol Res. 2019; 139:395-411 [PubMed] Related Publications
The EGFR family is among the most investigated receptor protein-tyrosine kinase groups owing to its general role in signal transduction and in oncogenesis. This family consists of four members that belong to the ErbB lineage of proteins (ErbB1-4). The ErbB proteins function as homo and heterodimers. These receptors contain an extracellular domain that consists of four parts: domains I and III are leucine-rich segments that participate in growth factor binding (except for ErbB2) and domains II and IV contain multiple disulfide bonds. Moreover, domain II participates in both homo and heterodimer formation within the ErbB/HER family of proteins. Seven ligands bind to EGFR including epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor-α, none bind to ErbB2, two bind to ErbB3, and seven ligands bind to ErbB4. The extracellular domain is followed by a single transmembrane segment of about 25 amino acid residues and an intracellular portion of about 550 amino acid residues that contains (i) a short juxtamembrane segment, (ii) a protein kinase domain, and (iii) a carboxyterminal tail. ErbB2 lacks a known activating ligand and ErbB3 is kinase impaired. Surprisingly, the ErbB2-ErbB3 heterodimer complex is the most active dimer in the family. These receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of a large proportion of lung and breast cancers, which rank first and second, respectively, in the incidence of all types of cancers (excluding skin) worldwide. On the order of 20% of non-small cell lung cancers bear activating mutations in EGFR. More than 90% of these patients have exon-19 deletions (

Wege AK, Chittka D, Buchholz S, et al.
HER4 expression in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer is associated with decreased sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment and reduced overall survival of postmenopausal women.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):139 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The sensitivity of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers to tamoxifen treatment varies considerably, and the molecular mechanisms affecting the response rates are manifold. The human epidermal growth factor receptor-related receptor HER2 is known to trigger intracellular signaling cascades that modulate the activity of coregulators of the estrogen receptor which, in turn, reduces the cell sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment. However, the impact of HER2-related receptor tyrosine kinases HER1, HER3, and, in particular, HER4 on endocrine treatment is largely unknown.
METHODS: Here, we retrospectively evaluated the importance of HER4 expression on the outcome of tamoxifen- and aromatase inhibitor-treated estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients (n = 258). In addition, we experimentally analyzed the efficiency of tamoxifen treatment as a function of HER4 co-expression in vitro.
RESULTS: We found a significantly improved survival in tamoxifen-treated postmenopausal breast cancer patients in the absence of HER4 compared with those with pronounced HER4 expression. In accordance with this finding, the sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment of estrogen and HER4 receptor-positive ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells can be significantly enhanced by HER4 knockdown.
CONCLUSION: We suggest an HER4/estrogen receptor interaction that impedes tamoxifen binding to the estrogen receptor and reduces treatment efficiency. Whether the sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment can be enhanced by anti-HER4 targeting needs to be prospectively evaluated.

Frazier NM, Brand T, Gordan JD, et al.
Overexpression-mediated activation of MET in the Golgi promotes HER3/ERBB3 phosphorylation.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(11):1936-1950 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ligand-dependent oligomerization of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) results in their activation through highly specific conformational changes in the extracellular and intracellular receptor domains. These conformational changes are unique for each RTK subfamily, limiting cross-activation between unrelated RTKs. The proto-oncogene MET receptor tyrosine kinase overcomes these structural constraints and phosphorylates unrelated RTKs in numerous cancer cell lines. The molecular basis for these interactions is unknown. We investigated the mechanism by which MET phosphorylates the human epidermal growth factor receptor-3 (HER3 or ERBB3), a catalytically impaired RTK whose phosphorylation by MET has been described as an essential component of drug resistance to inhibitors targeting EGFR and HER2. We find that in untransformed cells, HER3 is not phosphorylated by MET in response to ligand stimulation, but rather to increasing levels of MET expression, which results in ligand-independent MET activation. Phosphorylation of HER3 by its canonical co-receptors, EGFR and HER2, is achieved by engaging an allosteric site on the HER3 kinase domain, but this site is not required when HER3 is phosphorylated by MET. We also observe that HER3 preferentially interacts with MET during its maturation along the secretory pathway, before MET is post translationally processed by cleavage within its extracellular domain. This results in accumulation of phosphorylated HER3 in the Golgi apparatus. We further show that in addition to HER3, MET phosphorylates other RTKs in the Golgi, suggesting that this mechanism is not limited to HER3 phosphorylation. These data demonstrate a link between MET overexpression and its aberrant activation in the Golgi endomembranes and suggest that non-canonical interactions between MET and other RTKs occur during maturation of receptors. Our study highlights a novel aspect of MET signaling in cancer that would not be accessible to inhibition by therapeutic antibodies.

Luhtala S, Staff S, Kallioniemi A, et al.
Clinicopathological and prognostic correlations of HER3 expression and its degradation regulators, NEDD4-1 and NRDP1, in primary breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):1045 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human epidermal growth factor receptor HER3 (ErbB3), especially in association with its relative HER2 (ErbB2), is known as a key oncogene in breast tumour biology. Nonetheless, the prognostic relevance of HER3 remains controversial. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 are signalling molecules closely related to the degradation of HER3 via ubiquitination. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 have been reported to contribute to HER3-mediated signalling by regulating its localization and cell membrane retention. We studied correlations between HER3, NEDD4-1, and NRDP1 protein expression and their association with tumour histopathological characteristics and clinical outcomes.
METHODS: The prevalence of immunohistochemically detectable expression profiles of HER3 (n = 177), NEDD4-1 (n = 145), and NRDP1 (n = 145) proteins was studied in primary breast carcinomas on archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. Clinicopathological correlations were determined statistically using Pearson's Chi-Square test. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test (Mantel-Cox), and Cox regression analysis were utilized for survival analysis.
RESULTS: HER3 protein was expressed in breast carcinomas without association with HER2 gene amplification status. Absence or low HER3 expression correlated with clinically aggressive features, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) phenotype, basal cell origin (cytokeratin 5/14 expression combined with ER negativity), large tumour size, and positive lymph node status. Low total HER3 expression was prognostic for shorter recurrence-free survival time in HER2-amplified breast cancer (p = 0.004, p = 0.020 in univariate and multivariate analyses, respectively). The majority (82.8%) of breast cancers demonstrated NEDD4-1 protein expression - while only a minor proportion (8.3%) of carcinomas expressed NRDP1. NEDD4-1 and NRDP1 expression were not associated with clinical outcomes in HER2-amplified breast cancer, irrespective of adjuvant trastuzumab therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Low HER3 expression is suggested to be a valuable prognostic biomarker to predict recurrence in HER2-amplified breast cancer. Neither NEDD4-1 nor NRDP1 demonstrated relevance in prognostics or in the subclassification of HER2-amplified breast carcinomas.

He G, Di X, Yan J, et al.
Silencing human epidermal growth factor receptor-3 radiosensitizes human luminal A breast cancer cells.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(12):3774-3782 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Endocrine therapy and radiotherapy are the main treatments for luminal A breast cancer. However, drug and radiotherapy resistance could occur during long-term treatment, leading to local recurrence and distant metastasis. Some studies have found that drug resistance might be related to human epidermal growth factor receptor-3 (HER3) overexpression. However, whether HER3 plays a role in radiotherapy resistance is unknown. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the effect of HER3 in radiotherapy and to assess whether HER3 could be a potential target for radiosensitivity. We used retroviruses to construct stable low expression of HER3 in MCF-7 and ZR75-1cells. The CCK-8 assay was used to observe proliferation. Colony-forming assay was used to detect radiosensitivity. Flow cytometry was used to observe the cell cycle and apoptosis. Immunofluorescence assay was used to detect the number of γH2AX foci in the nucleus with or without ionizing radiation (IR). Western blot analysis was used to verify the change of relative proteins. Nude mice were used to observe tumor growth in vivo. In our study, silencing HER3 reduced cell proliferation and clone formation ability after IR, so silencing HER3 increased the sensitivity of luminal A breast cancer cells to radiotherapy. In terms of radiosensitivity mechanisms, it is suggested that the silencing of HER3 enhanced IR-induced DNA damage, reduced DNA repair, and increased apoptosis and G

Samadi P, Saki S, Dermani FK, et al.
Emerging ways to treat breast cancer: will promises be met?
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2018; 41(6):605-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women and it is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in the United States and more than 500,000 deaths worldwide each year. In previous decades, the development of improved screening, diagnosis and treatment methods has led to decreases in BC mortality rates. More recently, novel targeted therapeutic options, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors that target specific cancer cell-related components, have been developed. These components include ErbB family members (HER1, HER2, HER3 and HER4), Ras/MAPK pathway components (Ras, Raf, MEK and ERK), VEGF family members (VEGFA, VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGF and PGF), apoptosis and cell cycle regulators (BAK, BAX, BCL-2, BCL-X, MCL-1 and BCL-W, p53 and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway components) and DNA repair pathway components such as BRCA1. In addition, long noncoding RNA inhibitor-, microRNA inhibitor/mimic- and immunotherapy-based approaches are being developed for the treatment of BC. Finally, a novel powerful technique called CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing is emerging as a precise tool for the targeted treatment of cancer, including BC.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential new strategies that are designed to specifically target BC are presented. Several clinical trials using these strategies are already in progress and have shown promising results, but inherent limitations such as off-target effects and low delivery efficiencies still have to be resolved. By improving the clinical efficacy of current therapies and exploring new ones, it is anticipated that novel ways to overcome BC may become attainable.

Osada T, Hartman ZC, Wei J, et al.
Polyfunctional anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (anti-HER3) antibodies induced by HER3 vaccines have multiple mechanisms of antitumor activity against therapy resistant and triple negative breast cancers.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Upregulation of human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3) is a major mechanism of acquired resistance to therapies targeting its heterodimerization partners epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), but also exposes HER3 as a target for immune attack. We generated an adenovirus encoding full length human HER3 (Ad-HER3) to serve as a cancer vaccine. Previously we reported the anti-tumor efficacy and function of the T cell response to this vaccine. We now provide a detailed assessment of the antitumor efficacy and functional mechanisms of the HER3 vaccine-induced antibodies (HER3-VIAs) in serum from mice immunized with Ad-HER3.
METHODS: Serum containing HER3-VIA was tested in complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) assays and for its effect on HER3 internalization and degradation, downstream signaling of HER3 heterodimers and growth of metastatic HER2+ (BT474M1), HER2 therapy-resistant (rBT474), and triple negative (MDA-MB-468) breast cancers.
RESULTS: HER3-VIAs mediated CDC and ADCC, HER3 internalization, interruption of HER3 heterodimer-driven tumor signaling pathways, and anti-proliferative effects against HER2+ tumor cells in vitro and significant antitumor effects against metastatic HER2+ BT474M1, treatment refractory HER2+ rBT474 and triple negative MDA-MB-468 in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the T cell anti-tumor response induced by Ad-HER3, the HER3-VIAs provide additional functions to eliminate tumors in which HER3 signaling mediates aggressive behavior or acquired resistance to HER2-targeted therapy. These data support clinical studies of vaccination against HER3 prior to or concomitantly with other therapies to prevent outgrowth of therapy-resistant HER2+ and triple negative clones.

Coté D, Eustace A, Toomey S, et al.
Germline single nucleotide polymorphisms in ERBB3 and BARD1 genes result in a worse relapse free survival response for HER2-positive breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant based docetaxel, carboplatin and trastuzumab (TCH).
PLoS One. 2018; 13(8):e0200996 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in women worldwide and is classified into subtypes based on the cancer's receptor status. Of these subtypes, those expressing the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) receptor were traditionally associated with poor prognosis. Several advances have been made in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer, yet issues of resistance and poor response to therapy remains prevalent. In this study we explored the impact of HER-family and homologous recombination deficiency SNPs on response to patients who received TCH-based (docetaxel (T), carboplatin (C), and trastuzumab (H)) treatment versus those who received other treatment regimens. Using Cox regression analysis, we identified 6 SNPs that correlate with recurrence free survival in our patients and supported our findings using support vector machines. We also used reverse phase protein array analysis to examine the impact ERBB3 SNPs may have on both the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways. Finally, using cell line models, we correlated SNP status with sensitivity to platinum based drugs and docetaxel. We found that patients on a TCH based regimen with the minor allele of the ERBB3 (rs2229046 and rs773123) and BARD1 (rs2070096) SNPs, were significantly more likely to relapse than those women who were not. Additionally, we observed that patients with these ERBB3 SNPs had shown elevated protein expression/phosphorylation of Src kinase, c-MET (Y1234/1235), GSK-3β (S9) and p27, indicating that these SNPs are associated with non-PI3K/AKT signaling. Finally, using cell line models, we demonstrate that the BARD1 SNP (rs2229571) is associated with greater sensitivity to both carboplatin and cisplatin. The BARD1 and ERBB3 SNPs can potentially be used to determine those patients that will have a worse response to TCH based treatment, an effect that may arise from the SNPs impact on altered cellular signaling.

Li X, Xu Y, Ding Y, et al.
Posttranscriptional upregulation of HER3 by HER2 mRNA induces trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):113 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2 gene amplification generates an enormous number of HER2 transcripts, but the global effects on endogenous miRNA targets including HER family members in breast cancer are unexplored.
METHODS: We generated a HER2-3'UTR expressing vector to test the tumor-promoting properties in HER2 low expressing T47D and MCF7 cells. Through microarray analysis and real-time PCR analysis we identified genes that were regulated by HER2-3'UTR. Positive and negative manipulation of miRNA expression, response element mutational studies and transcript reporter assays were performed to explore the mechanism of competitive sequestration of miR125a/miRNA125b by HER2 3'UTR. To investigate if trastuzumab-induced upregulation of HER3 is also mediated through miRNA de-repression, we used the CRISPR/cas9 to mutate the endogenous HER2 mRNA in HER2 over-expressing Au565 cells. Finally, we looked at cohorts of breast cancer samples of our own and the TCGA to show if HER2 and HER3 mRNAs correlate with each other.
RESULTS: The HER2 3'UTR pronouncedly promoted cell proliferation, colony formation, and breast tumor growth. High-throughput sequencing revealed a significant increase in HER3 mRNA and protein levels by the HER2 3'untranslated region (3'UTR). The HER2 3'UTR harboring a shared miR-125a/b response element induced miR-125a/b sequestration and thus resulted in HER3 mRNA derepression. Trastuzumab treatment upregulated HER3 via elevated HER2 mRNA expression, leading to trastuzumab resistance. Depletion of miR-125a/b enhanced the antitumor activity of trastuzumab. Microarray data from HER2-overexpressing primary breast cancer showed significant elevation of mRNAs for predicted miR-125a/b targets compared to non-targets.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that HER2 3'UTR-mediated HER3 upregulation is involved in breast cell transformation, increased tumor growth, and resistance to anti-HER2 therapy. The combinatorial targeting of HER3 mRNA or miR-125a/b may offer an effective tool for breast cancer therapy.

Asghari F, Haghnavaz N, Shanehbandi D, et al.
Differential altered expression of let-7a and miR-205 tumor-suppressor miRNAs in different subtypes of breast cancer under treatment with Taxol.
Adv Clin Exp Med. 2018; 27(7):941-945 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs which have been considered as major players in the process of carcinogenesis and drug responsiveness of breast cancer.
OBJECTIVES: In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression pattern of let-7a and miR-205 tumorsuppressor miRNAs in breast cancer cell lines under treatment with paclitaxel.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of paclitaxel was determined for 4 breast cancer cell lines, including MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, SKBR-3, and BT-474 by an MTT assay. The expression level of let-7a and miR-205, and their targets, K-RAS and HER3, was determined before and after treatment with paclitaxel, using quantitative reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
RESULTS: After treatment, the expression level of both let-7a and miR-205 was significantly increased in HER2- overexpressing cell line BT-474 (26.4- and 7.2-fold, respectively). In contrast, the HER2-negative cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 showed a significantly decreased expression of both let-7a (30.3- and 13.5-fold, respectively) and miR-205 (20- and 18.1-fold, respectively). Controversially, SKBR-3 revealed a significantly decreased expression of both let-7a (1.3-fold) and miR-205 (1.3-fold). The expression level of K-RAS as a target of let-7a decreased in all cell lines significantly, but the pattern of alteration in the expression level of HER3 as a target of miR-205 in all cell lines was the reverse of the pattern of alteration in the expression level of miR-205.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirmed a better response of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer to paclitaxel at the miRNA level. One putative reason could be the upregulation of tumor-suppressor miRNAs after treatment with paclitaxel. On the other hand, HER2-negative breast cancer cell lines showed a significantly decreased expression of tumor-suppressor miRNAs, a putative mechanism of resisting the therapy.

Vasmatzis G, Wang X, Smadbeck JB, et al.
Chromoanasynthesis is a common mechanism that leads to ERBB2 amplifications in a cohort of early stage HER2
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):738 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2 positive (HER2+) breast cancers involve chromosomal structural alterations that act as oncogenic driver events.
METHODS: We interrogated the genomic structure of 18 clinically-defined HER2+ breast tumors through integrated analysis of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing, coupled with clinical information.
RESULTS: ERBB2 overexpression in 15 of these tumors was associated with ERBB2 amplification due to chromoanasynthesis with six of them containing single events and the other nine exhibiting multiple events. Two of the more complex cases had adverse clinical outcomes. Chromosomes 8 was commonly involved in the same chromoanasynthesis with 17. In ten cases where chromosome 8 was involved we observed NRG1 fusions (two cases), NRG1 amplification (one case), FGFR1 amplification and ADAM32 or ADAM5 fusions. ERBB3 over-expression was associated with NRG1 fusions and EGFR and ERBB3 expressions were anti-correlated. Of the remaining three cases, one had a small duplication fully encompassing ERBB2 and was accompanied with a pathogenic mutation.
CONCLUSION: Chromoanasynthesis involving chromosome 17 can lead to ERBB2 amplifications in HER2+ breast cancer. However, additional large genomic alterations contribute to a high level of genomic complexity, generating the hypothesis that worse outcome could be associated with multiple chromoanasynthetic events.

Li M, Liu F, Zhang F, et al.
Gut. 2019; 68(6):1024-1033 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Patients with gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) lack effective treatment methods largely due to the inadequacy of both molecular characterisation and potential therapeutic targets. We previously uncovered a spectrum of genomic alterations and identified recurrent mutations in the ErbB pathway in GBC. Here, we aimed to study recurrent mutations of genes and pathways in a larger cohort of patients with GBC and investigate the potential mechanisms and clinical significance of these mutations.
DESIGN: We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 157 patients with GBC. Functional experiments were applied in GBC cell lines to explore the oncogenic roles of
RESULTS: WES identified

Chae J, Park WS, Kim MJ, et al.
Genomic characterization of clonal evolution during oropharyngeal carcinogenesis driven by human papillomavirus 16.
BMB Rep. 2018; 51(11):584-589 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Secondary prevention via earlier detection would afford the greatest chance for a cure in premalignant lesions. We investigated the exomic profiles of non-malignant and malignant changes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and the genomic blueprint of human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven carcinogenesis in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Whole-exome (WES) and whole-genome (WGS) sequencing were performed on peripheral blood and adjacent non-tumor and tumor specimens obtained from eight Korean HNSCC patients from 2013 to 2015. Next-generation sequencing yielded an average coverage of 94.3× for WES and 35.3× for WGS. In comparative genomic analysis of non-tumor and tumor tissue pairs, we were unable to identify common cancer-associated early mutations and copy number alterations (CNA) except in one pair. Interestingly, in this case, we observed that non-tumor tonsillar crypts adjacent to HPV-positive OPSCC appeared normal under a microscope; however, this tissue also showed weak p16 expression. WGS revealed the infection and integration of high-risk type HPV16 in this tissue as well as in the matched tumor. Furthermore, WES identified shared and tumor-specific genomic alterations for this pair. Clonal analysis enabled us to infer the process by which this transitional crypt epithelium (TrCE) evolved into a tumor; this evolution was accompanied by the subsequent accumulation of genomic alterations, including an ERBB3 mutation and large-scale CNAs, such as 3q27-qter amplification and 9p deletion. We suggest that HPV16-driven OPSCC carcinogenesis is a stepwise evolutionary process that is consistent with a multistep carcinogenesis model. Our results highlight the carcinogenic changes driven by HPV16 infection and provide a basis for the secondary prevention of OPSCC. [BMB Reports 2018; 51(11): 584-589].

Ribas R, Pancholi S, Rani A, et al.
Targeting tumour re-wiring by triple blockade of mTORC1, epidermal growth factor, and oestrogen receptor signalling pathways in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endocrine therapies are the mainstay of treatment for oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive (ER
METHODS: A panel of ER
RESULTS: Here, we show RAD001 and neratinib (pan-ERBB inhibitor) caused a concentration-dependent decrease in proliferation, irrespective of the ESR1 mutation status. The combination of either agent with endocrine therapy further reduced proliferation but the maximum effect was observed with a triple combination of RAD001, neratinib, and endocrine therapy. In the absence of oestrogen, RAD001 caused a reduction in ER-mediated transcription in the majority of the cell lines, which associated with a decrease in recruitment of ER to an oestrogen-response element on the TFF1 promoter. Contrastingly, neratinib increased both ER-mediated transactivation and ER recruitment, an effect reduced by the addition of RAD001. In-vivo analysis of an LTED model showed the triple combination of RAD001, neratinib, and fulvestrant was most effective at reducing tumour volume. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that the addition of neratinib negated the epidermal growth factor (EGF)/EGF receptor feedback loops associated with RAD001.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the combination of therapies targeting ERBB2/3 and mTORC1 signalling, together with fulvestrant, in patients who relapse on endocrine therapy and retain a functional ER.

Kendall GC, Watson S, Xu L, et al.
Elife. 2018; 7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma caused by

Wilson FH, Politi K
ERBB Signaling Interrupted: Targeting Ligand-Induced Pathway Activation.
Cancer Discov. 2018; 8(6):676-678 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A patient with advanced lung adenocarcinoma harboring a

Ruiz-Saenz A, Dreyer C, Campbell MR, et al.
HER2 Amplification in Tumors Activates PI3K/Akt Signaling Independent of HER3.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(13):3645-3658 [PubMed] Related Publications
Current evidence suggests that HER2-driven tumorigenesis requires HER3. This is likely due to the unique ability of HER3 to activate PI3K/Akt pathway signaling, which is not directly accessible to HER2. By genetic elimination of HER3 or shRNA knockdown of HER3 in HER2-amplified cancer cells, we find residual HER2-driven activation of PI3K/Akt pathway signaling that is driven by HER2 through direct and indirect mechanisms. Indirect mechanisms involved second messenger pathways, including Ras or Grb2. Direct binding of HER2 to PI3K occurred through p-Tyr1139, which has a weak affinity for PI3K but becomes significant at very high expression and phosphorylation. Mutation of Y1139 impaired the tumorigenic competency of HER2. Total elimination of HER3 expression in HCC1569 HER2-amplified cancer cells significantly impaired tumorigenicity only transiently, overcome by subsequent increases in HER2 expression and phosphorylation with binding and activation of PI3K. In contrast to activation of oncogenes by mutation, activation by overexpression was quantitative in nature: weak intrinsic activities were strengthened by overexpression, with additional gains observed through further increases in expression. Collectively, these data show that progressive functional gains by HER2 can increase its repertoire of activities such as the activation of PI3K and overcome its dependency on HER3.

van Beek EJAH, Hernandez JM, Goldman DA, et al.
Rates of TP53 Mutation are Significantly Elevated in African American Patients with Gastric Cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2018; 25(7):2027-2033 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric adenocarcinoma is a heterogenous disease that results from complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors, which may contribute to the disparate outcomes observed between different patient populations. This study aimed to determine whether genomic differences exist in a diverse population of patients by evaluating tumor mutational profiles stratified by race.
METHODS: All patients with gastric adenocarcinoma between 2012 and 2016 who underwent targeted next-generation sequencing of cancer genes by the Memorial Sloan Kettering-Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets platform were identified. Patient race was categorized as Asian, African American, Hispanic, or Caucasian. Fisher's exact test was used to examine differences in mutation rates between racial designations for the most common mutations identified. The p values in this study were adjusted using the false discovery rate method.
RESULTS: The study investigated 595 mutations in 119 patients. The DNA alterations identified included missense mutations (66%), frame-shift deletions (13%), and nonsense mutations (9%). Silent mutations were excluded. The most frequently mutated genes were ARID1A, CDH1, ERBB3, KRAS, PIK3CA, and TP53. Of these, TP53 was the most frequently mutated gene, affecting 50% of patients. The proportion of patients with TP53 mutations differed significantly between races (p = 0.012). The findings showed TP53 mutations for 89% (16/18) of the African American patients, 56% (10/18) of the Asian patients, 43% (9/21) of the Hispanic patients, and 40% (25/62) of the Caucasian patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Significantly higher rates of TP53 mutations were identified among the African American patients with gastric adenocarcinoma. This is the first study to evaluate tumor genomic differences in a diverse population of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma.

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