Bromodomain and extraterminal protein inhibition blocks growth of triple-negative breast cancers through the suppression of Aurora kinases

Jennifer M. Sahni, Sylvia S. Gayle, Kristen L Weber Bonk, Leslie Cuellar Vite, Jennifer L. Yori, Bryan Webb, Erika K. Ramos, Darcie D. Seachrist, Melissa D. Landis, Jenny C. Chang, James E. Bradner, Ruth A. Keri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) proteins are epigenetic "readers" that recognize acetylated histones and mark areas of the genome for transcription. BRD4, aBETfamilymember protein, has been implicated in a number of types of cancer, and BET protein inhibitors (BETi) are efficacious in many preclinical cancer models. However, the drivers of response to BETi vary depending on tumor type, and little is known regarding the target genes conveying BETi activity in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Here, we show that BETi repress growth of multiple in vitro and in vivo models of TNBC by inducing two terminal responses: apoptosis and senescence. Unlike in other cancers, response to BETi in TNBC is not dependent upon suppression of MYC. Instead, both end points are preceded by the appearance of polyploid cells caused by the suppression of Aurora kinases A and B (AURKA/B), which are critical mediators of mitosis. In addition, AURKA/B inhibitors phenocopy the effects of BETi. These results indicate that Aurora kinases play an important role in the growth suppressive activity of BETi in TNBC. Elucidating the mechanism of response to BETi inTNBC should 1) facilitate the prediction of how distinct TNBC tumors will respond to BETi and 2) inform the rational design of drug combination therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23756-23768
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume291
Issue number45
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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