Imperial College London

Dr Ernesto Yagüe

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Non-Clinical Lecturer in Cancer Cell Biology
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 2802ernesto.yague Website

 
 
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Location

 

Cancer Research Centre, room 135ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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67 results found

Kumar U, Hu Y, Masrour N, Castellanos-Uribe M, Harrod A, May ST, Ali S, Speirs V, Charles Coombes R, Yagüe Eet al., 2021, MicroRNA-495/TGF-β/FOXC1 axis regulates multidrug resistance in metaplastic breast cancer cells, Biochemical Pharmacology, Vol: 192, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0006-2952

Triple-negative metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) poses a significant treatment challenge due to lack of targeted therapies and chemotherapy resistance. We isolated a novel MBC cell line, BAS, which showed a molecular and phenotypic profile different from the only other metaplastic cell model, HS578T cells. To gain insight behind chemotherapeutic resistance, we generated doxorubicin (HS-DOX, BAS-DOX) and paclitaxel (HS-TX, BAS-TX) resistant derivatives of both cell lines. Drug sensitivity assays indicated a truly multidrug resistant (MDR) phenotype. Both BAS-DOX and BAS-TX showed up-regulation of FOXC1 and its experimental down-regulation re-sensitized cells to doxorubicin and paclitaxel. Experimental modulation of FOXC1 expression in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells corroborated its role in MDR. Genome-wide expression analyses identified gene expression signatures characterized by up-regulation of TGFB2, which encodes cytokine TGF-β2, in both BAS-DOX and BAS-TX cells. Pharmacological inhibition of the TGF-β pathway with galunisertib led to down-regulation of FOXC1 and increase in drug sensitivity in both BAS-DOX and BAS-TX cells. MicroRNA (miR) expression analyses identified high endogenous miR-495-3p levels in BAS cells that were downregulated in both BAS MDR cells. Transient expression of miR-495-3p mimic in BAS-DOX and BAS-TX cells caused downregulation of TGFB2 and FOXC1 and re-sensitized cells to doxorubicin and paclitaxel, whereas miR-495-3p inhibition in BAS cells led to increase in resistance to both drugs and up-regulation of TGFB2 and FOXC1. Together, these data suggest interplay between miR-495-3p, TGF-β2 and FOXC1 regulating MDR in MBC and open the exploration of novel therapeutic strategies.

Journal article

Kumar U, Ardasheva A, Mahmud Z, Coombes RC, Yague Eet al., 2021, FOXA1 is a determinant of drug resistance in breast cancer cells, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 186, Pages: 317-326, ISSN: 0167-6806

PurposeBreast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. Five subtypes of breast cancer differ in their genetic expression profiles and carry different prognostic values, with no treatments available for some types, such as triple-negative, due to the absence of genetic signatures that could otherwise be targeted by molecular therapies. Although endocrine treatments are largely successful for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cancers, a significant proportion of patients with metastatic tumors fail to respond and acquire resistance to therapy. FOXA1 overexpression mediates endocrine therapy resistance in ER-positive breast cancer, although the regulation of chemotherapy response by FOXA1 has not been addressed previously. FOXA1, together with EP300 and RUNX1, regulates the expression of E-cadherin, and is expressed in luminal, but absent in triple-negative and basal-like breast cancers. We have previously determined that EP300 regulates drug resistance and tumor initiation capabilities in breast cancer cells.MethodsHere we describe the generation of breast cancer cell models in which FOXA1 expression has been modulated either by expression of hairpins targeting FOXA1 mRNA or overexpression plasmids.ResultsUpon FOXA1 knockdown in luminal MCF-7 and T47D cells, we found an increase in doxorubicin and paclitaxel sensitivity as well as a decrease in anchorage independence. Conversely, upregulation of FOXA1 in basal-like MDA-MB-231 cells led to an increase in drug resistance and anchorage independence.ConclusionTogether, these data suggest that FOXA1 plays a role in making tumors more aggressive.

Journal article

Masood M, Grimm S, El-Bahrawy M, Yague Eet al., 2020, TMEFF2: A transmembrane proteoglycan with multifaceted actions in cancer and disease, Cancers, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-25, ISSN: 2072-6694

Transmembrane protein with an EGF-like and two Follistatin-like domains 2 (TMEFF2) is a 374-residue long type-I transmembrane proteoglycan which is proteolytically shed from the cell surface. The protein is involved in a range of functions including metabolism, neuroprotection, apoptosis, embryonic development, onco-suppression and endocrine function. TMEFF2 is methylated in numerous cancers, and an inverse correlation with the stage, response to therapy and survival outcome has been observed. Moreover, TMEFF2 methylation increases with breast, colon and gastric cancer progression. TMEFF2 is methylated early during oncogenesis in breast and colorectal cancer, and the detection of methylated free-circulating TMEFF2 DNA has been suggested as a potential diagnostic tool. The TMEFF2 downregulation signature equals and sometimes outperforms the Gleason and pathological scores in prostate cancer. TMEFF2 is downregulated in glioma and cotricotropinomas, and it impairs the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone in glioma cells. Interestingly, through binding the amyloid β protein, its precursor and derivatives, TMEFF2 provides neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease. Despite undergoing extensive investigation over the last two decades, the primary literature regarding TMEFF2 is incoherent and offers conflicting information, in particular, the oncogenic vs. onco-suppressive role of TMEFF2 in prostate cancer. For the first time, we have compiled, contextualised and critically analysed the vast body of TMEFF2-related literature and answered the apparent discrepancies regarding its function, tissue expression, intracellular localization and oncogenic vs. onco-suppressive role.

Journal article

Aimjongjun S, Mahmud Z, Jiramongkol Y, Alasiri G, Yao S, Yague E, Janvilisri T, Lam Eet al., 2019, Lapatinib sensitivity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma is modulated by SIRT2-mediated FOXO3 deacetylation, BMC Cancer, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1471-2407

BackgroundChemoresistance is an obstacle to the successful treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Lapatinib is a targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapeutic drug also used to treat NPC, but high doses are often required to achieve a result. To investigate the mechanism for the development of Lapatinib resistance, we characterised a number of NPC cell lines to determine the role of FOXO3 and sirtuins in regulating NPC resistance.Methods Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assays, Clonogenic assays, Protein extraction, quantification and western blotting, RT qPCR, Co-immunoprecipitation assayResults To explore novel treatment strategi es, we first characterized the Lapatinib-sensitivity of a panel of NPC cell lines by SRB and clonogenic cytotoxic assays and found that themetastatic NPC (C666-1 and 5-8F) cells are highly resistant whereas the poorly metastatic lines (6-10B, TW01 and HK-1) are sensitive to Lapatinib. Western blot analysis of the Lapatinib-sensitive 6-10B and resistant 5-8F NPC cells showed that the expression of phosphorylated/inactive FOXO3 (P-FOXO3;T32), its target FOXM1 and its regulator SIRT2 correlate negatively with Lapatinib response and sensitivity, suggesting that SIRT2 mediates FOXO3 deacetylation to promote Lapatinib resistance. In agreement, clonogenic cytotoxic assays using wild-type and foxo1/3/4−/−mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) showed that FOXO1/3/4-deletion significantly attenuates Lapatinib-induced cytotoxicity, confirming that FOXO proteins are essential for mediating Lapatinib response. SRB cell viability assays using chemical SIRT inhibitors (i.e. sirtinol, Ex527, AGK2 and AK1) revealed that all SIRT inhibitors can reduce NPC cell viability, but only the SIRT2-specific inhibitors AK1 and AGK2 further enhance the Lapatinib cytotoxicity. Consistently, clonogenic assays demonstrated that the SIRT2 inhibitors AK1 and AGK2 as well as

Journal article

Li D, Wang L, Yagüe E, Dai L, Zhao X, Yang Z, Zhi S, Hu Yet al., 2019, Studies of proteasome inhibition and apoptosis induction in triple‐negative breast cancer cells by novel amino acid–polypyridine–copper complex, Applied Organometallic Chemistry, Vol: 33, ISSN: 0268-2605

An innovative ternary copper(II) complex, [Cu(Cl‐PIP)(Tyr)Cl]n, has been synthesized and characterized using infrared spectroscopy, elemental analysis and single‐crystal X‐ray diffraction analysis. X‐ray crystallography indicates that the Cu atom is five‐coordinated in a square‐pyramidal configuration. The unit forms a one‐dimensional chain along the crystallographic c‐axis. The complex was screened for cytotoxicity against a panel of eight human cancer cell lines, namely MDA‐MB‐231, CAL‐51, K562, HeLa, SGC‐7901, A549, MCF‐7 and SMMC‐7721. The best anticancer activity was obtained with triple‐negative breast cancer CAL‐51 and MDA‐MB‐231 cell lines, with IC50 values in the range 0.035–0.10 μM, and this was better than using carboplatin. The complex inhibits proteasomal chymotrypsin‐like activity, and docking studies reveal its interaction with 20S proteasome. In addition, the complex causes accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, induces apoptosis and inhibits cell proliferation, indicating its great potential as a novel therapy for triple‐negative breast cancer.

Journal article

Li D-D, Yagüe E, Wang L-Y, Dai L-L, Yang Z-B, Zhi S, Zhang N, Zhao X-M, Hu Y-Het al., 2019, Novel copper complexes that inhibit the proteasome and trigger apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Vol: 10, Pages: 1328-1335, ISSN: 1948-5875

Five innovative ternary copper(II) complexes [Cu(OH-PIP)(Phe)Cl](1), [Cu(OH-PIP)(Gly)(H2O)]NO3·2H2O (2), [Cu(OH-PIP)(Ala)(Cl)]·H2O (3), [Cu(OH-PIP)(Met)]PF6·2H2O (4), and [Cu(OH-PIP)(Gln)(H2O)](Cl)·3H2O (5) have been synthesized and characterized by infrared spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. X-ray crystallography indicates that all Cu atoms are five-coordinated in a square-pyramidal configuration. The complexes have been screened for cytotoxicity against human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and CAL-51. The best anticancer activity is obtained with triple-negative breast cancer CAL-51 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines, with IC50 values in the range of 0.082-0.69 μM. Importantly, the copper compounds were more effective than carboplatin at triggering cell death. Mechanistically, the complexes inhibit proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity, and docking studies reveal their 20S proteasome binding sites. As a consequence, they cause the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, inhibit cell proliferation, and induce apoptosis. In addition, these copper complexes decrease the stemness of triple-negative breast cancer cells and have synergistic effects with CBP on TNBC cells, indicating their great potential as a novel therapy for triple-negative breast cancer.

Journal article

Mahmud Z, Gomes A, Lee HJ, Aimjongjun S, Jiramongkol Y, Yao S, Zona S, Alasiri G, Gong G, Yague E, Lam Eet al., 2019, EP300 and SIRT1/6 co-regulate lapatinib sensitivity via modulating FOXO3-acetylation and activity in breast cancer, Cancers, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2072-6694

Forkhead Box O3 (FOXO3) is a tumour suppressor whose activity is fine-tuned by post-translational modifications (PTMs). In this study, using the BT474 breast cancer cells and a recently established lapatinib resistant (BT474-LapR) cell line, we observed that higher FOXO3 and acetylated (Ac)-FOXO3 levels correlate with lapatinib sensitivity. Subsequent ectopic expression of EP300 led to an increase in acetylated-FOXO3 in sensitive, but not in resistant cells. Drug sensitivity assays revealed that sensitive BT474 cells show increased lapatinib cytotoxicity upon over-expression of wild-type but not acetylation-deficient EP300. Moreover, FOXO3 recruitment to target gene promoters is associated with target gene expression and drug response in sensitive cells, and the inability of FOXO3 to bind its target genes correlates with lapatinib-resistance in BT474-LapR cells. In addition, using SIRT1/6 specific siRNAs and chemical inhibitor, we also found that sirtuin 1 and -6 (SIRT1 and -6) play a part in fine-tuning FOXO3 acetylation and lapatinib sensitivity. Consistent with this, immunohistochemistry results from different breast cancer subtypes showed that high SIRT6/1 levels are associated with constitutive high FOXO3 expression which is related to FOXO3 deregulation/inactivation and poor prognosis in breast cancer patient samples. Collectively, our results suggest the involvement of FOXO3 acetylation in regulating lapatinib sensitivity of HER2-positive breast cancers.

Journal article

Ruenraroengsak P, Kiryushko D, Theodorou IG, Klosowski MM, Taylor ER, Niriella T, Palmieri C, Yagüe E, Ryan MP, Coombes RC, Xie F, Porter AEet al., 2019, Frizzled-7-targeted delivery of zinc oxide nanoparticles to drug-resistant breast cancer cells, Nanoscale, Vol: 11, Pages: 12858-12870, ISSN: 2040-3364

There is a need for novel strategies to treat aggressive breast cancer subtypes and overcome drug resistance. ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) have potential in cancer therapy due to their ability to potently and selectively induce cancer cell apoptosis. Here, we tested the in vitro chemotherapeutic efficacy of ZnONPs loaded via a mesoporous silica nanolayer (MSN) towards drug-sensitive breast cancer cells (MCF-7: estrogen receptor-positive, CAL51: triple-negative) and their drug-resistant counterparts (MCF-7TX, CALDOX). ZnO-MSNs were coated on to gold nanostars (AuNSs) for future imaging capabilities in the NIR-II range. Electron and confocal microscopy showed that MSN-ZnO-AuNSs accumulated close to the plasma membrane and were internalized by cells. High-resolution electron microscopy showed that MSN coating degraded outside the cells, releasing ZnONPs that interacted with cell membranes. MSN-ZnO-AuNSs efficiently reduced the viability of all cell lines, and CAL51/CALDOX cells were more susceptible than MCF7/MCF-7-TX cells. MSN-ZnO-AuNSs were then conjugated with the antibody to Frizzled-7 (FZD-7), the receptor upregulated by several breast cancer cells. We used the disulphide (S-S) linker that could be cleaved with a high concentration of glutathione normally observed within cancer cells, releasing Zn2+ into the cytoplasm. FZD-7 targeting resulted in approximately three-fold amplified toxicity of MSN-ZnO-AuNSs towards the MCF-7TX drug-resistant cell line with the highest FZD-7 expression. This study shows that ZnO-MSs are promising tools to treat triple-negative and drug-resistant breast cancers and highlights the potential clinical utility of FZD-7 for delivery of nanomedicines and imaging probes specifically to these cancer types.

Journal article

Mahmud Z, Asaduzzaman M, Kumar U, Masrour N, Jugov R, Coombes RC, Shousha S, Hu Y, Lam EW-F, Yagüe Eet al., 2019, Oncogenic EP300 can be targeted with inhibitors of aldo-keto reductases, Biochemical Pharmacology, Vol: 163, Pages: 391-403, ISSN: 0006-2952

E-cadherin transcriptional activator EP300 is down-regulated in metaplastic breast carcinoma, a rare form of triple negative and E-cadherin-negative aggressive breast cancer with a poor clinical outcome. In order to shed light on the regulation of E-cadherin by EP300 in breast cancer we analyzed by immunohistochemistry 41 cases of invasive breast cancer with both E-cadherinhigh and E-cadherinlow expression levels, together with 20 non-malignant breast tissues. EP300 and E-cadherin showed a positive correlation in both non-malignant and cancer cases and both markers together were better predictors of lymph node metastasis than E-cadherin alone. These data support a metastasis suppressor role for EP300 in breast cancer. However, some reports suggest an oncogenic role for EP300. We generated a breast cancer cell model to study E-cadherin-independent effects of EP300 by over-expression of EP300 in HS578T cells which have E-cadherin promoter hypermethylated. In this cell system, EP300 led to up-regulation of mesenchymal (vimentin, Snail, Slug, Zeb1) and stemness (ALDH+ and CD44high/CD24low) markers, increases in migration, invasion, anchorage-independent growth and drug resistance. Genome-wide expression profiling identified aldo-keto reductases AKR1C1-3 as effectors of stemness and drug resistance, since their pharmacological inhibition with flufenamic acid restored both doxorubicin and paclitaxel sensitivity and diminished mammosphere formation. Thus, in cells with a permissive E-cadherin promoter, EP300 acts as a tumour/metastasis supressor by up-regulating E-cadherin expression, maintenance of the epithelial phenotype and avoidance of an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. In cells in which the E-cadherin promoter is hypermethylated, EP300 functions as an oncogene via up-regulation of aldo-keto reductases. This offers the rationale of using current aldo-keto reductase inhibitors in breast cancer treatment.

Journal article

Yague E, Ketteler J, Panic A, Reis H, Maier P, Herskind C, Jendrossek V, Klein Det al., 2019, Progression-related loss of stromal Caveolin 1 levels mediates radiation resistance in prostate carcinoma via the apoptosis inhibitor TRIAP1, Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2077-0383

Tumour resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy, as well as molecularly targeted therapies, limits the effectiveness of current cancer treatments. We previously reported that the radiation response of human prostate tumours is critically regulated by CAV1 expression in stromal fibroblasts and that loss of stromal CAV1 expression in advanced tumour stages may contribute to tumour radiotherapy resistance. Here we investigated whether fibroblast secreted anti-apoptotic proteins could induce radiation resistance of prostate cancer cells in a CAV1-dependent manner and identified TRIAP1 (TP53 Regulated Inhibitor of Apoptosis 1) as a resistance-promoting CAV1-dependent factor. TRIAP1 expression and secretion was significantly higher in CAV1-deficient fibroblasts and secreted TRIAP1 was able to induce radiation resistance of PC3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vitro, as well as of PC3 prostate xenografts derived from co-implantation of PC3 cells with TRIAP1-expressing fibroblasts in vivo. Immunohistochemical analyses of irradiated PC3 xenograft tumours, as well as of human prostate tissue specimen, confirmed that the characteristic alterations in stromal-epithelial CAV1 expression were accompanied by increased TRIAP1 levels after radiation in xenograft tumours and within advanced prostate cancer tissues, potentially mediating resistance to radiation treatment. In conclusion, we have determined the role of CAV1 alterations potentially induced by the CAV1-deficient, and more reactive, stroma in radio sensitivity of prostate carcinoma at a molecular level. We suggest that blocking TRIAP1 activity and thus avoiding drug resistance may offer a promising drug development strategy for inhibiting resistance-promoting CAV1-dependent signals.

Journal article

Liu J, Liu L, Yagüe E, Yang Q, Pan T, Zhao H, Hu Y, Zhang Jet al., 2019, GGNBP2 suppresses triple-negative breast cancer aggressiveness through inhibition of IL-6/STAT3 signaling activation, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 174, Pages: 65-78, ISSN: 0167-6806

BackgroundTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer, lacking effective targeted therapies, and whose underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The gene coding for Gametogenetin-binding protein (GGNBP2), also known as Zinc Finger Protein 403 (ZNF403), is located on chromosome 17q12-q23, a region known as a breast cancer susceptibility locus. We have previously reported that GGNBP2 functions as a tumor suppressor in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role and mechanisms of GGNBP2 in TNBC.MethodsThe effect of GGNBP2 on TNBC aggressiveness was investigated both in vitro and in vivo. The protein and mRNA expression levels were analyzed by western blotting and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis was used to evaluate the cell cycle distribution and cell apoptosis. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expression of GGNBP2 in breast cancer tissues.ResultsWe find that GGNBP2 expression decreases in TNBC tissues and is associated with the outcome of breast cancer patients. Furthermore, experimental overexpression of GGNBP2 in MDA-MB-231 and Cal51 cells suppresses cell proliferation, migration and invasion, reduces the cancer stem cell subpopulation, and promotes cell apoptosis in vitro as well as inhibits tumor growth in vivo. In these cell models, overexpression of GGNBP2 decreases the activation of IL-6/STAT3 signaling.ConclusionOur data demonstrate that GGNBP2 suppresses cancer aggressiveness by inhibition of IL-6/STAT3 activation in TNBC.

Journal article

Theodorou I, Ruenraroengsak P, Carter D, Jiang Q, Yague E, Aboagye E, Coombes RC, Porter AE, Ryan M, Xie Fet al., 2019, Towards multiplexed near-infrared cellular imaging using gold nanostar arrays with tunable fluorescence enhancement, Nanoscale, Vol: 11, Pages: 2079-2088, ISSN: 2040-3364

Sensitive detection of disease biomarkers expressed by human cells is critical to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Here we report that plasmonic arrays based on gold nanostar (AuNS) monolayers enable up to 19-fold fluorescence enhancement for cellular imaging in the near-infrared (NIR) biological window, allowing the application of low quantum yield fluorophores for sensitive cellular imaging. The high fluorescence enhancement together with low autofluorescence interference in this wavelength range enable higher signal-to-noise ratio compared to other diagnostic modalities. Using AuNSs of different geometries and therefore controllable electric field enhancement, cellular imaging with tunable enhancement factors is achieved, which may be useful for the development of multicolour and multiplexed platforms for a panel of biomarkers, allowing to distinguish different subcell populations at the single cell level. Finally, the uptake of AuNSs within HeLa cells and their high biocompatibility, pave the way for novel high-performance in vitro and in vivo diagnostic platforms.

Journal article

Hu Y, Yagüe E, Zhao J, Wang L, Bai J, Yang Q, Pan T, Zhao H, Liu J, Zhang Jet al., 2018, Sabutoclax, pan-active BCL-2 protein family antagonist, overcomes drug resistance and eliminates cancer stem cells in breast cancer, Cancer Letters, Vol: 423, Pages: 47-59, ISSN: 0304-3835

Misregulation of BCL-2 family of proteins renders a survival signal to withstand cytotoxic anticancer drugs and is often found in drug resistant cells. The drug resistance phenotype is also associated with an enhancement of cancer stem cell-like (CSC) characteristics. Thus, inhibition of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins has been proposed as a possible antineoplastic strategy, and BCL-2 inhibitors are currently being clinically trailed in patients with leukemia, lymphoma or non-small cell lung cancer. However, the effects of BCL-2 inhibitors on drug resistant breast cancer have not yet been elucidated. In the present study, the effect of sabutoclax, a pan-active BCL-2 protein family antagonist, on two chemoresistant breast cancer cell lines was assessed. We found that sabutoclax showed a significant cytotoxic activity on chemoresistant breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. When chemotherapeutic agents were combined with sabutoclax, strong synergistic antiproliferative effects were observed. Sabutoclax induced the blockage of BCL-2, MCL-1, BCL-xL and BFL-1, which in turn led to caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activation and modulation of Bax, Bim, PUMA and survivin expression. Furthermore, sabutoclax effectively eliminated the CSC subpopulation and reduced sphere formation of drug-resistant cells through down-regulation of the IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway. A similar effect was observed in a small panel of nine breast tumors ex vivo. Our findings indicate that sabutoclax partially overcomes the drug resistance phenotype of breast cancer cells by reactivation of apoptosis, mediated by the inhibition of several anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins, and eliminates CSCs by abolition of the IL-6/STAT3 pathway. This offers a strong rationale to explore the therapeutic strategy of using sabutoclax alone or in combination for chemotherapy-nonresponsive breast cancer patients.

Journal article

Asaduzzaman M, Constantinou S, Min H, Gallon J, Lin M-L, Singh P, Raguz S, Ali S, Shousha S, Charles Coombes R, Lam EW-F, Hu Y, Yagüe Eet al., 2018, Correction to: Tumour suppressor EP300, a modulator of paclitaxel resistance and stemness, is downregulated in metaplastic breast cancer, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 167, Pages: 605-606, ISSN: 0167-6806

In the original publication, Fig. 1 depicting the blot for EP300 in CAL51 cells (Fig. 1c) was unintentionally duplicated with that from MDA-MB-231 cells (Fig. 1d). The new figure given in this erratum depicts the correct EP300 blot in Fig. 1c.

Journal article

Yague E, Asaduzzaman M, Constantinou S, Haoxiang M, Gallon J, Lin ML, Singh P, Raguz S, Ali S, Shousha S, Coombes RC, Lam EWF, Hu Y, Yague Eet al., 2017, Tumour suppressor EP300, a modulator of paclitaxel resistance and stemness, is down-regulated in metaplastic breast cancer, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 163, Pages: 461-474, ISSN: 1573-7217

PurposeWe have previously described a novel pathway controlling drug resistance, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness in breast cancer cells. Upstream in the pathway, three miRs (miR-106b, miR-93 and miR-25) target EP300, a transcriptional activator of E-cadherin. Upregulation of these miRs leads to the downregulation of EP300 and E-cadherin with initiation of an EMT. However, miRs regulate the expression of many genes, and the contribution to EMT by miR targets other than EP300 cannot be ruled out.MethodsWe used lentiviruses expressing EP300-targeting shRNA to downregulate its expression in MCF-7 cells as well as an EP300-knocked-out colon carcinoma cell line. An EP300-expression plasmid was used to upregulate its expression in basal-like CAL51 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Drug resistance was determined by short-term proliferation and long-term colony formation assays. Stemness was determined by tumour sphere formation in both soft agar and liquid cultures as well as by the expression of CD44/CD24/ALDH markers. Gene expression microarray analysis was performed in MCF-7 cells lacking EP300. EP300 expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry in 17 samples of metaplastic breast cancer.ResultsCells lacking EP300 became more resistant to paclitaxel whereas EP300 overexpression increased their sensitivity to the drug. Expression of cancer stem cell markers, as well as tumour sphere formation, was also increased in EP300-depleted cells, and was diminished in EP300-overexpressing cells. The EP300-regulated gene signature highlighted genes associated with adhesion (CEACAM5), cytoskeletal remodelling (CAPN9), stemness (ABCG2), apoptosis (BCL2) and metastasis (TGFB2). Some genes in this signature were also validated in a previously generated EP300-depleted model of breast cancer using minimally transformed mammary epithelial cells. Importantly, two key genes in apoptosis and stemness, BCL2 and ABCG2, were also upregulated in EP300-knockout colon c

Journal article

Zhao X, Zhao J, Yao Q, Zhang G, Shen H, Yague E, Hu Yet al., 2017, Ruanjian Sanjie decoction exhibits antitumor activity by inducing cell apoptosis in breast cancer, Oncology Letters, Vol: 13, Pages: 3071-3079, ISSN: 1792-1082

Traditional Chinese medicine, based on theories developed and practiced for >2,000 years, is one of the most common complementary and alternative types of medi‑cine currently used in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. Ruanjian Sanjie (RJSJ) decoction, is composed of four herbs, including Ban xia (Pinellia ternata), Xia ku cao (Prunella vulgaris), Shan ci gu (Cremastra appendiculata) and Hai zao (Sargassum pallidum), and has traditionally been used for softening hard lumps and resolving hard tissue masses. However, the active compounds and mechanisms of action of RJSJ remain unknown. The present study demon‑strated the antitumor activity of RJSJ against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice and breast cancer xenografts in nude mice. Notably, RJSJ does not induce body weight loss, immune function toxicity or myelosuppression in mice, indi‑cating that it is safe and well tolerated. In addition, RJSJ shows potent cytotoxicity against breast cancer cells in vitro by the suppression of the anti‑apoptotic proteins B‑cell lymphoma 2 and survivin, leading to the activation of caspase‑3/7 and caspase‑9, and the apoptotic cascade. These findings provide a clear rationale to explore the therapeutic strategy of using RJSJ alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents for breast cancer patients and the characterization of its active principles.

Journal article

Hu Y, Qiu Y, Yagüe E, Ji W, Liu J, Zhang Jet al., 2016, miRNA-205 targets VEGFA and FGF2 and regulates resistance to chemotherapeutics in breast cancer, Cell Death and Disease, Vol: 7

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have critical roles in regulating cancer cell survival, proliferation and sensitivity to chemotherapy. The potential application of using miRNAs to predict chemotherapeutic response to cancer treatment is highly promising. However, the underlying mechanisms of chemotherapy response control by miRNAs remain to be fully identified and their prognostic value has not been fully evaluated. Here we show a strong correlation between miR-205 expression and chemosensitivtiy to TAC (docetaxol, doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide), a widely-used neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) regimen, for breast cancer patients. High level of miR-205 predicted better response to TAC regimen NAC in breast cancer patients. We found miR-205 downregulated in both MCF-7/A02 and CALDOX cells, two drug-resistant derivatives of MCF-7 and Cal51 cells, and its ectopic expression led to an increase in apoptosis resensitization of both drug-resistant cell lines to doxorubicin and taxol. We further show that miR-205 directly binds VEGFA and FGF2 mRNA 3'-UTRs and confirm that miR-205 levels are negatively correlated with VEGFA and FGF2 mRNA expression in breast cancer patients. Adding VEGFA and FGF2 exogenously to chemosensitive breast cancer cells and chemoresistant cells with miR-205 overexpression led to drug resistance. Consistently, low VEGFA and FGF2 expression correlated with better response to NAC in breast cancer patients. In addition, inhibition of tumor growth and resensitization to doxorubicin were also observed in mouse tumor xenografts from cells overexpressing miR-205. Taken together, our data suggest that miR-205 enhances chemosensitivity of breast cancer cells to TAC chemotherapy by suppressing both VEGFA and FGF2, leading to evasion of apoptosis. MiR-205 may serve as a predictive biomarker and a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment.

Journal article

Hu Y, Li K, Asaduzzaman M, Cuella R, Shi H, Raguz S, Coombes RC, Zhou Y, Yaguee Eet al., 2015, miR-106b similar to 25 cluster regulates multidrug resistance in an ABC transporter-independent manner via downregulation of EP300, Oncology Reports, Vol: 35, Pages: 1170-1178, ISSN: 1021-335X

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Matthews SJ, Miliara X, Garnett J, Tatsuta T, Abid Ali F, Baldie H, Perez Dorado I, Simpson P, Yague E, Langer Tet al., 2015, Structural insight into the TRIAP1/PRELI-like domain family of mitochondrial phospholipid transfer complexes, EMBO Reports, Vol: 16, Pages: 824-835, ISSN: 1469-221X

The composition of the mitochondrial membrane is important for its architecture and proper function. Mitochondria depend on a tightly regulated supply of phospholipid via intra-mitochondrial synthesis and by direct import from the endoplasmic reticulum. The Ups1/PRELI-like family together with its mitochondrial chaperones (TRIAP1/Mdm35) represent a unique heterodimeric lipid transfer system that is evolutionary conserved from yeast to man. Work presented here provides new atomic resolution insight into the function of a human member of this system. Crystal structures of free TRIAP1 and the TRIAP1–SLMO1 complex reveal how the PRELI domain is chaperoned during import into the intermembrane mitochondrial space. The structural resemblance of PRELI-like domain of SLMO1 with that of mammalian phoshatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) suggest that they share similar lipid transfer mechanisms, in which access to a buried phospholipid-binding cavity is regulated by conformationally adaptable loops.

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Adams C, Cazzanelli G, Rasul S, Hitchinson B, Hu Y, Coombes RC, Raguz S, Yaguee Eet al., 2015, Apoptosis inhibitor TRIAP1 is a novel effector of drug resistance, Oncology Reports, Vol: 34, Pages: 415-422, ISSN: 1021-335X

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Hu Y, Xu K, Yagüe E, 2015, miR-218 targets survivin and regulates resistance to chemotherapeutics in breast cancer, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 151, Pages: 269-280, ISSN: 1573-7217

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Alshaker H, Wang Q, Frampton AE, Krell J, Waxman J, Winkler M, Stebbing J, Cooper C, Yaguee E, Pchejetski Det al., 2015, Sphingosine kinase 1 contributes to leptin-induced STAT3 phosphorylation through IL-6/gp130 transactivation in oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT, Vol: 149, Pages: 59-67, ISSN: 0167-6806

Journal article

Alshaker H, Krell J, Frampton AE, Waxman J, Blyuss O, Zaikin A, Winkler M, Stebbing J, Yaguee E, Pchejetski Det al., 2014, Leptin induces upregulation of sphingosine kinase 1 in oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer via Src family kinase-mediated, janus kinase 2-independent pathway, Breast Cancer Research, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1465-542X

Introduction: Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) is an oncogenic lipidkinase that is overexpressed in breast tumours and linked with poor prognosis, however, its role in obesity-drivenbreast cancer was never elucidated.Methods: Human primary and secondary breast cancer tissues were analysed for SK1 and leptin receptorexpression using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay. Leptin-induced signalling wasanalysed in human oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive and negative breast cancer cells using Western blotting,qRT-PCR and radiolabelling assays.Results: Our findings show for the first time that human primary breast tumours and associated lymph nodemetastases exhibit a strong correlation between SK1 and leptin receptor expression (Pearson R = 0.78 and R = 0.77,respectively, P <0.001). Both these genes are elevated in metastases of ER-negative patients and show a significantincrease in patients with higher body mass index (BMI). Leptin induces SK1 expression and activation in ER-negativebreast cancer cell lines MDAMB-231 and BT-549, but not in ER-positive cell lines. Pharmacological inhibition andgene knockdown showed that leptin-induced SK1 activity and expression are mediated by activation of extracellularsignal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Src family kinase (SFK) pathways, but not by the major pathwaysdownstream of leptin receptor (LEPR) - janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3). Src-homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) appeared to be key to SK1 activation, and mayfunction as an adaptor protein between SFKs and LEPR. Importantly, leptin-induced breast cancer cell proliferationwas abrogated by SK1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA).Conclusions: Overall, our findings demonstrate a novel SFK/ERK1/2-mediated pathway that links leptin signallingand expression of oncogenic enzyme SK1 in breast tumours and suggest the potential significance

Journal article

Zhou Y, Hu Y, Yang M, Jat P, Li K, Lombardo Y, Xiong D, Coombes RC, Raguz S, Yaguee Eet al., 2014, The miR-106b similar to 25 cluster promotes bypass of doxorubicin-induced senescence and increase in motility and invasion by targeting the E-cadherin transcriptional activator EP300, Cell Death and Differentiation, Vol: 21, Pages: 462-474, ISSN: 1350-9047

Resistance to chemotherapeutic treatment, which is indirectly responsible for many cancer deaths, is normally associated with an aggressive phenotype including increased cell motility and acquisition of invasive properties. Here we describe how breast cancer cells overcome doxorubicin-induced senescence and become drug resistant by overexpression of the microRNA (miR)-106b∼25 cluster. Although all three miRs in the cluster contribute to the generation of doxorubicin resistance, miR-25 is the major contributor to this phenotype. All three miRs in this cluster target EP300, a transcriptional activator of E-cadherin, resulting in cells acquiring a phenotype characteristic of cells undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including an increase in both cell motility and invasion, as well as the ability to proliferate after treatment with doxorubicin. These findings provide a novel drug resistance/EMT regulatory pathway controlled by the miR-106b∼25 cluster by targeting a transcriptional activator of E-cadherin.

Journal article

Hu Y, Li S, Yang M, Yan C, Fan D, Zhou Y, Zhang Y, Yaguee E, Xiong Det al., 2014, Sorcin silencing inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and suppresses breast cancer metastasis in vivo, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol: 143, Pages: 287-299, ISSN: 0167-6806

Sorcin, a 22-kDa calcium-binding protein, renders cancer cells resistant to chemotherapeutic agents, thus playing an important role in multidrug resistance. As there is a clear association between drug resistance and an aggressive phenotype, we asked whether sorcin affects also the motility, invasion, and stem cell characteristics of cancer cells. We have used both RNA interference (transient and stable expression of hairpins) and a lentiviral expression vector to experimentally modulate sorcin expression in a variety of cells. We demonstrate that sorcin depletion in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells reduces the pool of CD44+/CD24− and ALDH1high cancer stem cells (CSCs) as well as mammosphere-forming capacity. We also observe that sorcin regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and CSCs partly through E-cadherin and vascular endothelial growth factor expression. This leads to the acquisition of an epithelial-like phenotype, attenuating epithelial-mesenchymal transition and suppression of metastases in nude mice. The sorcin-depleted phenotype can also be reproduced in lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells and lung fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells. In addition, overexpression of sorcin in MCF7 cells, which have low endogenous sorcin expression levels, increases their migration and invasion in vitro. This offers the rationale for the development of therapeutic strategies down-regulating sorcin expression for the treatment of cancer.

Journal article

Khongkow P, Karunarathna U, Khongkow M, Gong C, Gomes AR, Yague E, Monteiro LJ, Kongsema M, Zona S, Man EPS, Tsang JW-H, Coombes RC, Wu K-J, Khoo U-S, Medema RH, Freire R, Lam EW-Fet al., 2013, FOXM1 targets NBS1 to regulate DNA damage-induced senescence and epirubicin resistance, Oncogene, Vol: 33, Pages: 4144-4155, ISSN: 1476-5594

FOXM1 is implicated in genotoxic drug resistance but its mechanism of action remains elusive. We show here that FOXM1-depletion can sensitize breast cancer cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into entering epirubicin-induced senescence, with the loss of long-term cell proliferation ability, the accumulation of γH2AX foci, and the induction of senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and cell morphology. Conversely, reconstitution of FOXM1 in FOXM1-deficient MEFs alleviates the accumulation of senescence-associated γH2AX foci. We also demonstrate that FOXM1 regulates NBS1 at the transcriptional level through an forkhead response element on its promoter. Like FOXM1, NBS1 is overexpressed in the epirubicin-resistant MCF-7EpiR cells and its expression level is low but inducible by epirubicin in MCF-7 cells. Consistently, overexpression of FOXM1 augmented and FOXM1 depletion reduced NBS1 expression and epirubicin-induced ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM)phosphorylation in breast cancer cells. Together these findings suggest that FOXM1 increases NBS1 expression and ATM phosphorylation, possibly through increasing the levels of the MRN(MRE11/RAD50/NBS1) complex. Consistent with this idea, the loss of P-ATM induction by epirubicin in the NBS1-deficient NBS1-LBI fibroblasts can be rescued by NBS1 reconstitution. Resembling FOXM1, NBS1 depletion also rendered MCF-7 and MCF-7EpiR cells more sensitive to epirubicin-induced cellular senescence. In agreement, the DNA repair-defective and senescence phenotypes in FOXM1-deficent cells can be effectively rescued by overexpression of NBS1. Moreover, overexpression of NBS1 and FOXM1 similarly enhanced and their depletion downregulated homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair activity. Crucially, overexpression of FOXM1 failed to augment HR activity in the background of NBS1 depletion, demonstrating that NBS1 is indispensable for the HR function of FOXM1. The physiological relevance of the regulation o

Journal article

Khongkow M, Olmos Y, Gong C, Gomes AR, Monteiro LJ, Yaguee E, Cavaco TB, Khongkow P, Man EPS, Laohasinnarong S, Koo C-Y, Harada-Shoji N, Tsang JW-H, Coombes RC, Schwer B, Khoo U-S, Lam EW-Fet al., 2013, SIRT6 modulates paclitaxel and epirubicin resistance and survival in breast cancer, CARCINOGENESIS, Vol: 34, Pages: 1476-1486, ISSN: 0143-3334

Journal article

Raguz S, Adams C, Masrour N, Rasul S, Papoutsoglou P, Hu Y, Cazzanelli G, Zhou Y, Patel N, Coombes C, Yaguee Eet al., 2013, Loss of O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase confers collateral sensitivity to carmustine in topoisomerase II-mediated doxorubicin resistant triple negative breast cancer cells, Biochemical Pharmacology, Vol: 85, Pages: 186-196, ISSN: 0006-2952

Triple-negative breast cancer is characterized by aggressive tumours whose cells lack oestrogen and progesterone receptors and do not over-express HER2. It accounts for approximately 10–15% of breast cancer cases. We sought to generate a cellular model of chemotherapy drug resistance for this type of disease to provide the tools for the development of new therapies. Doxorubicin is a component of some chemotherapy regimes used to treat this form of cancer but resistance preventing disease eradication frequently occurs, mainly due to over-expression of drug transporters such as P-glycoprotein. CALDOX cells were generated by exposure of CAL51 to doxorubicin. Resistance to doxorubicin did not involve drug transporters, as the both parental and resistant cells accumulated doxorubicin to comparable levels. CALDOX cells had slower proliferation rate and an extended G1 cell cycle stage than the parental line, mainly due to an intrinsic activation of CDNK1 (p21), but this cell cycle block was not involved in the mechanism of resistance. CALDOX cells had reduced levels of TOP2A (topoisomerase IIα) and were cross resistant to the topoisomerase II inhibitors etoposide and mitoxantrone. CALDOX cells showed collateral sensitivity to carmustine due to the lack of O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) expression, related to the hypermethylation of its promoter. The collateral sensitivity of CALDOX cells to carmustine provides the rationale to evaluate MGMT promoter methylation status to design better therapeutic strategies for triple negative breast cancer.

Journal article

Lombardo Y, Filipovic A, Molyneux G, Periyasamy M, Giamas G, Hu Y, Trivedi PS, Wang J, Yaguee E, Michel L, Coombes RCet al., 2012, Nicastrin regulates breast cancer stem cell properties and tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Vol: 109, Pages: 16558-16563, ISSN: 0027-8424

Journal article

Payne RE, Wang F, Su N, Krell J, Zebrowski A, Yaguee E, Ma X-J, Luo Y, Coombes RCet al., 2012, Viable circulating tumour cell detection using multiplex RNA in situ hybridisation predicts progression-free survival in metastatic breast cancer patients, BRITISH JOURNAL OF CANCER, Vol: 106, Pages: 1790-1797, ISSN: 0007-0920

Journal article

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