• N-cadherin/FGFR promotes metastasis through epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and stem/progenitor cell-like properties.

      Qian, X; Anzovino, A; Kim, S; Suyama, K; Yao, J; Hulit, James; Agiostratidou, G; Chandiramani, N; McDaid, H; Nagi, C; et al. (2014-06-26)
      N-cadherin and HER2/neu were found to be co-expressed in invasive breast carcinomas. To test the contribution of N-cadherin and HER2 in mammary tumor metastasis, we targeted N-cadherin expression in the mammary epithelium of the MMTV-Neu mouse. In the context of ErbB2/Neu, N-cadherin stimulated carcinoma cell invasion, proliferation and metastasis. N-cadherin caused fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) upmodulation, resulting in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stem/progenitor like properties, involving Snail and Slug upregulation, mammosphere formation and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity. N-cadherin potentiation of the FGFR stimulated extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (AKT) phosphorylation resulting in differential effects on metastasis. Although ERK inhibition suppressed cyclin D1 expression, cell proliferation and stem/progenitor cell properties, it did not affect invasion or EMT. Conversely, AKT inhibition suppressed invasion through Akt 2 attenuation, and EMT through Snail inhibition, but had no effect on cyclin D1 expression, cell proliferation or mammosphere formation. These findings suggest N-cadherin/FGFR has a pivotal role in promoting metastasis through differential regulation of ERK and AKT, and underscore the potential for targeting the FGFR in advanced ErbB2-amplified breast tumors.