Members of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) family have essential roles in normal physiology and in cancer where they control diverse processes. FGFRs have been associated with breast cancer development. Thus, models to study the role of FGFR in breast cancer and their targeting potential are important. We present an in vitro and in vivo analysis of FGFRs in the breast cancer model cell lines 67NR and 4T1. We show that both tumor cell lines coexpress FGFRs and ligands and display autocrine FGFR signaling activity. Fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2), a downstream mediator of FGFR, is constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated and multiple signaling pathways are active. Treatment of 67NR and 4T1 cultures with TKI258, an FGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), caused a rapid decrease in FRS2 phosphorylation; decreased the activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), AKT, and phospholipase Cγ; and blocked proliferation of both tumor lines. Furthermore, TKI258 induced 4T1 apoptotic cell death via blockade of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway. In vivo, one dose of TKI258 rapidly lowered FRS2 phosphorylation and ERK1/2 and AKT activity in mammary tumors. Long-term TKI258 treatment of 4T1 tumor- and 67NR tumor-bearing mice had a significant effect on primary tumor outgrowth and 4T1 tumor-induced lung metastases. A microarray analysis was carried out to identify targets with roles in TKI258 antitumor activity and potential prognostic markers in human breast tumors. Of interest are the downregulated matrix metalloproteases (MMP), in particular MMP9, which is essential for metastatic spread of 4T1 tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research