Nucleolin and ErbB2 inhibition reduces tumorigenicity of ErbB2-positive breast cancer article

Eya Wolfson, Shira Solomon, Eran Schmukler, Yona Goldshmit, Ronit Pinkas-Kramarski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


ErbB2, a member of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, is an essential player in the cell's growth and proliferation signaling pathways. Amplification or overexpression of ErbB2 is observed in ∼30% of breast cancer patients, and often drives cellular transformation and cancer development. Recently, we have shown that ErbB2 interacts with the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling protein nucleolin, an interaction which enhances cell transformation in vitro, and increases mortality risk and disease progression rate in human breast cancer patients. Given these results, and since acquired resistance to anti-ErbB2-targeted therapy is a major obstacle in treatment of breast cancer, we have examined the therapeutic potential of targeting the ErbB2-nucleolin complex. The effect of the nucleolin-specific inhibitor GroA (AS1411) on ErbB2-positive breast cancer was tested in vivo, in a mouse xenograft model for breast cancer; as well as in vitro, alone and in combination with the ErbB2 kinase-inhibitor tyrphostin AG-825. Here, we show that in vivo treatment of ErbB2-positive breast tumor xenografts with GroA reduces tumor size and leads to decreased ErbB2-mediated signaling. Moreover, we found that co-treatment of breast cancer cell lines with GroA and the ErbB2 kinase-inhibitor tyrphostin AG-825 enhances the anti-cancer effects exerted by GroA alone in terms of cell viability, mortality, migration, and invasiveness. We, therefore, suggest a novel therapeutic approach, consisting of combined inhibition of ErbB2 and nucleolin, which has the potential to improve breast cancer treatment efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


FundersFunder number
Kauffman Cancer Research Fund
Israel Cancer Association
Israel Science Foundation848/12


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