Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is insensitive to endocrine and Her2-directed therapies, making the development of TNBC-targeted therapies an unmet medical need. Since patients with TNBC frequently show a quicker relapse and metastatic progression compared to other breast cancer subtypes, we hypothesized that cancer stem cells (CSC) could have a role in TNBC. To identify putative TNBC CSC-associated targets, we compared the gene expression profiles of CSC-enriched tumorspheres and their parental cells grown as monolayer. Among the up-regulated genes coding for cell membrane-associated proteins, we selected Teneurin 4 (TENM4), involved in cell differentiation and deregulated in tumors of different histotypes, as the object for this study. Meta-analysis of breast cancer datasets shows that TENM4 mRNA is up-regulated in invasive carcinoma specimens compared to normal breast and that high expression of TENM4 correlates with a shorter relapse-free survival in TNBC patients. TENM4 silencing in mammary cancer cells significantly impaired tumorsphere-forming ability, migratory capacity and Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) phosphorylation. Moreover, we found higher levels of TENM4 in plasma from tumor-bearing mice and TNBC patients compared to the healthy controls. Overall, our results indicate that TENM4 may act as a novel biomarker and target for the treatment of TNBC.

Identification of TENM4 as a novel cancer stem cell-associated molecule and potential target in triple negative breast cancer

Ruiu R.
Co-first
;
Barutello G.
Co-first
;
Arigoni M.;Riccardo F.;Conti L.;Peppino G.;Annaratone L.;Marchio C.;Mengozzi G.;Calogero R. A.;Cavallo F.;Quaglino E.
Last
2021

Abstract

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is insensitive to endocrine and Her2-directed therapies, making the development of TNBC-targeted therapies an unmet medical need. Since patients with TNBC frequently show a quicker relapse and metastatic progression compared to other breast cancer subtypes, we hypothesized that cancer stem cells (CSC) could have a role in TNBC. To identify putative TNBC CSC-associated targets, we compared the gene expression profiles of CSC-enriched tumorspheres and their parental cells grown as monolayer. Among the up-regulated genes coding for cell membrane-associated proteins, we selected Teneurin 4 (TENM4), involved in cell differentiation and deregulated in tumors of different histotypes, as the object for this study. Meta-analysis of breast cancer datasets shows that TENM4 mRNA is up-regulated in invasive carcinoma specimens compared to normal breast and that high expression of TENM4 correlates with a shorter relapse-free survival in TNBC patients. TENM4 silencing in mammary cancer cells significantly impaired tumorsphere-forming ability, migratory capacity and Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) phosphorylation. Moreover, we found higher levels of TENM4 in plasma from tumor-bearing mice and TNBC patients compared to the healthy controls. Overall, our results indicate that TENM4 may act as a novel biomarker and target for the treatment of TNBC.
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Cancer stem cell (CSC); Teneurin 4 (TENM4); Transcriptomics; Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)
Ruiu R.; Barutello G.; Arigoni M.; Riccardo F.; Conti L.; Peppino G.; Annaratone L.; Marchio C.; Mengozzi G.; Calogero R.A.; Cavallo F.; Quaglino E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1782742
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