Combined genomic and phenotype screening reveals secretory factor SPINK1 as an invasion and survival factor associated with patient prognosis in breast cancer.
Apoptosis, Breast Neoplasms, Carrier Proteins, Female, Genetic Testing, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Prognosis, Receptors, Estrogen, Survival Analysis
EMBO Mol Med 2011 Aug; 3(8):451-64.
Secretory factors that drive cancer progression are attractive immunotherapeutic targets. We used a whole-genome data-mining approach on multiple cohorts of breast tumours annotated for clinical outcomes to discover such factors. We identified Serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type 1 (SPINK1) to be associated with poor survival in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) cases. Immunohistochemistry showed that SPINK1 was absent in normal breast, present in early and advanced tumours, and its expression correlated with poor survival in ER+ tumours. In ER- cases, the prognostic effect did not reach statistical significance. Forced expression and/or exposure to recombinant SPINK1 induced invasiveness without affecting cell proliferation. However, down-regulation of SPINK1 resulted in cell death. Further, SPINK1 overexpressing cells were resistant to drug-induced apoptosis due to reduced caspase-3 levels and high expression of Bcl2 and phospho-Bcl2 proteins. Intriguingly, these anti-apoptotic effects of SPINK1 were abrogated by mutations of its protease inhibition domain. Thus, SPINK1 affects multiple aggressive properties in breast cancer: survival, invasiveness and chemoresistance. Because SPINK1 effects are abrogated by neutralizing antibodies, we suggest that SPINK1 is a viable potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.
Soon, Wendy Weijia; Miller, Lance David; Black, Michael A; Dalmasso, Cyril; Chan, Xiu Bin; Pang, Brendan; Ong, Chee Wee; Salto-Tellez, Manuel; Desai, Kartiki V; and Liu, Edison T, "Combined genomic and phenotype screening reveals secretory factor SPINK1 as an invasion and survival factor associated with patient prognosis in breast cancer." (2011). Faculty Research 2011. 76.