Expression of transmembrane protein 26 (TMEM26) in breast cancer and its association with drug response

Norbert Nass, Angela Dittmer, Vicky Hellwig, Theresia Lange, Johanna Mirjam Beyer, Benjamin Leyh, Atanas Ignatov, Christine Weiβenborn, Tove Kirkegaard, Anne E Lykkesfeldt, Thomas Kalinski, Jürgen Dittmer

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We have previously shown that stromal cells desensitize breast cancer cells to the anti-estrogen fulvestrant and, along with it, downregulate the expression of TMEM26 (transmembrane protein 26). In an effort to study the function and regulation of TMEM26 in breast cancer cells, we found that breast cancer cells express non-glycosylated and N-glycosylated isoforms of the TMEM26 protein and demonstrate that N-glycosylation is important for its retention at the plasma membrane. Fulvestrant induced significant changes in expression and in the N-glycosylation status of TMEM26. In primary breast cancer, TMEM26 protein expression was higher in ERα (estrogen receptor α)/PR (progesterone receptor)-positive cancers. These data suggest that ERα is a major regulator of TMEM26. Significant changes in TMEM26 expression and N-glycosylation were also found, when MCF-7 and T47D cells acquired fulvestrant resistance. Furthermore, patients who received aromatase inhibitor treatment tend to have a higher risk of recurrence when tumoral TMEM26 protein expression is low. In addition, TMEM26 negatively regulates the expression of integrin β1, an important factor involved in endocrine resistance. Data obtained by spheroid formation assays confirmed that TMEM26 and integrin β1 can have opposite effects in breast cancer cells. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that, in ERα-positive breast cancer, TMEM26 may function as a tumor suppressor by impeding the acquisition of endocrine resistance. In contrast, in ERα-negative breast cancer, particularly triple-negative cancer, high TMEM26 expression was found to be associated with a higher risk of recurrence. This implies that TMEM26 has different functions in ERα-positive and -negative breast cancer.

Sider (fra-til)38408-38426
Antal sider19
Udgave nummer25
StatusUdgivet - 21 jun. 2016


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