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Phosphorylation of ErbB4 on Tyrosine 1056 Is Critical for ErbB4 Coupling to Inhibition of Colony Formation by Human Mammary Cell Lines

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In many studies, ErbB4 expression in breast tumor samples correlates with a favorable patient prognosis. Similarly, ErbB4 signaling is coupled to cellular differentiation and growth arrest in a variety of model systems. However, in some studies, ErbB4 expression in breast tumor samples correlates with poor outcome. Likewise, studies using some human mammary tumor cell lines suggest that ErbB4 is coupled to malignant phenotypes. Thus, the roles that ErbB4 plays in human breast cancer are still poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that a constitutively active ErbB4 mutant (ErbB4-Q646C) inhibits colony formation on plastic by two human mammary tumor cell lines (SKBR3 and MCF7) and by the MCF10A immortalized human mammary cell line, but does not inhibit colony formation by the MDA-MB-453 and T47D human mammary tumor cell lines. ErbB4 kinase activity is necessary for ErbB4 function and phosphorylation of ErbB4 Tyr1056 is necessary and appears to be sufficient for ErbB4 function. The inhibition of colony formation by MCF10A cells is accompanied by growth arrest but not cell death. These data suggest that ErbB4 behaves as a mammary tumor suppressor and that loss of ErbB4 coupling to growth arrest may be an important event in mammary tumorigenesis.
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Keywords: Breast cancer; ErbB4; Receptor tyrosine kinase; Signal transduction; Tumor suppressor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Pharmacy and Purdue Cancer Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2064, USA

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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  • Formerly: Oncology Research Incorporating Anti-Cancer Drug Design
    Oncology Research Featuring Preclinical and Clincal Cancer Therapeutics publishes research of the highest quality that contributes to an understanding of cancer in areas of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, biology, endocrinology, and immunology, as well as studies on the mechanism of action of carcinogens and therapeutic agents, reports dealing with cancer prevention and epidemiology, and clinical trials delineating effective new therapeutic regimens.
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