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Cyclin E2 overexpression is associated with endocrine resistance but not insensitivity to CDK2 inhibition in human breast cancer cells.


Cyclin E2 but not cyclin E1 is included in several gene signatures that predict disease progression in either tamoxifen-resistant or metastatic breast cancer. We therefore examined the role of cyclin E2 in antiestrogen resistance in vitro and its potential for therapeutic targeting through cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibition. High expression of CCNE2, but not CCNE1, was characteristic of the luminal B and HER2 subtypes of breast cancer and was strongly predictive of shorter distant metastasis-free survival following endocrine therapy. After antiestrogen treatment of MCF-7 breast cancer cells, cyclin E2 mRNA and protein were downregulated and cyclin E2-Cdk2 activity decreased. However, this regulation was lost in tamoxifen-resistant (MCF-7 TAMR) cells, which overexpressed cyclin E2. Expression of either cyclin E1 or E2 in T-47D breast cancer cells conferred acute antiestrogen resistance, suggesting that cyclin E overexpression contributes to the antiestrogen resistance of TAMR cells. Ectopic expression of cyclin E1 or E2 also reduced sensitivity to CDK4, but not CDK2, inhibition. Proliferation of TAMR cells was inhibited by RNAi-mediated knockdown of cyclin E1, cyclin E2 or CDK2. Furthermore, CDK2 inhibition of E-cyclin overexpressing cells and TAMR cells restored sensitivity to tamoxifen or CDK4 inhibition. Cyclin E2 overexpression is therefore a potential mechanism of resistance to both endocrine therapy and CDK4 inhibition. CDK2 inhibitors hold promise as a component of combination therapies in endocrine-resistant disease as they effectively inhibit cyclin E1 and E2 overexpressing cells, and enhance the efficacy of other therapeutics.

Type Journal
Authors Caldon, C.E.; Sergio, C.M.; Kang, J.; Muthukaruppan, A.; Boersma, M.; Stone, A.; Barraclough, J. Lee, C.S.L.; Black, M.A.; Miller, L.D.; Gee, J.M.; Nicholson, R.I.; Sutherland, R.L.; Print, C.G.; Musgrove, E.A.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Liz Caldon
Published Date 2012-05-09
Published Volume 11
Published Issue 7
Published Pages 1488-99
Status Published in-print
DOI 1535-7163.MCT-11-0963 [pii] 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0963
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version