Title

AKT-Induced Tamoxifen Resistance is Reversed by RRM2 Inhibition

ORCiD

0000-0001-9010-5970

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Molecular Cancer Research

ISSN

1541-7786

Volume

12

Issue

3

DOI

10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-13-0219

First Page

394

Last Page

407

Publication Date

3-1-2014

Abstract

Acquired tamoxifen resistance develops in the majority of hormone-responsive breast cancers and frequently involves overexpression of the PI3K/AKT axis. Here, breast cancer cells with elevated endogenous AKT or overexpression of activated AKT exhibited tamoxifen-stimulated cell proliferation and enhanced cell motility. To gain mechanistic insight on AKT-induced endocrine resistance, gene expression profiling was performed to determine the transcripts that are differentially expressed post-tamoxifen therapy under conditions of AKT overexpression. Consistent with the biologic outcome, many of these transcripts function in cell proliferation and cell motility networks and were quantitatively validated in a larger panel of breast cancer cells. Moreover, ribonucleotide reductase M2 (RRM2) was revealed as a key contributor to AKT-induced tamoxifen resistance. Inhibition of RRM2 by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated approaches significantly reversed the tamoxifen-resistant cell growth, inhibited cell motility, and activated DNA damage and proapoptotic pathways. In addition, treatment of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells with the small molecule RRM inhibitor didox significantly reduced in vitro and in vivo growth. Thus, AKT-expressing breast cancer cells upregulate RRM2 expression, leading to increased DNA repair and protection from tamoxifen-induced apoptosis.