American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Figure S2 from HER2/EGFR–AKT Signaling Switches TGFβ from Inhibiting Cell Proliferation to Promoting Cell Migration in Breast Cancer

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-31, 02:08 authored by Fei Huang, Qiaoni Shi, Yuzhen Li, Linlin Xu, Chi Xu, Fenfang Chen, Hai Wang, Hongwei Liao, Zai Chang, Fang Liu, Xiang H.-F. Zhang, Xin-Hua Feng, Jing-Dong J. Han, Shiwen Luo, Ye-Guang Chen

HER2/EGFR signaling regulates the transcriptional activity of Smad3 but not Smad2


National Natural Science Foundation of China

Development Program of China



TGFβ signaling inhibits cell proliferation to block cancer initiation, yet it also enhances metastasis to promote malignancy during breast cancer development. The mechanisms underlying these differential effects are still unclear. Here, we report that HER2/EGFR signaling switches TGFβ function in breast cancer cells from antiproliferation to cancer promotion. Inhibition of HER2/EGFR activity attenuated TGFβ–induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition and migration but enhanced the antiproliferative activity of TGFβ. Activation of HER2/EGFR induced phosphorylation of Smad3 at Ser208 of the linker region through AKT, which promoted the nuclear accumulation of Smad3 and subsequent expression of the genes related to EMT and cell migration. In contrast, HER2/EGFR signaling had no effects on the nuclear localization of Smad2. Knockdown of Smad3, but not Smad2, blocked TGFβ–induced breast cancer cell migration. We observed a positive correlation between the nuclear localization of Smad3 and HER2 activation in advanced human breast cancers. Our results demonstrate a key role for HER2/EGFR in differential regulation of Smad3 activity to shift TGFβ function from antitumorigenic to protumorigenic during breast cancer development.Significance: TGFβ signaling can shift from inhibiting to promoting breast cancer development via HER2/EGFR AKT-mediated phosphorylation of Smad3 at S208, enhancing its nuclear accumulation and upregulation of EMT-related genes.Graphical Abstract: Cancer Res; 78(21); 6073–85. ©2018 AACR.

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