Identification of novel kinase targets for the treatment of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer

Corey Speers, Anna Tsimelzon, Krystal Sexton, Ashley M. Herrick, Carolina Gutierrez, Aedin Culhane, John Quackenbush, Susan Hilsenbeck, Jenny Chang, Powel Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous gene expression profiling studies of breast cancer have focused on the entire genome to identify genes differentially expressed between estrogen receptor (ER) α-positive and ER-α-negative cancers. Experimental Design: Here, we used gene expression microarray profiling to identify a distinct kinase gene expression profile that identifies ER-negative breast tumors and subsets ER-negative breast tumors into four distinct subtypes. Results: Based on the types of kinases expressed in these clusters, we identify a cell cycle regulatory subset, a S6 kinase pathway cluster, an immunomodulatory kinase-expressing cluster, and a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway cluster. Furthermore, we show that this specific kinase profile is validated using independent sets of human tumors and is also seen in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Kinase expression knockdown studies show that many of these kinases are essential for the growth of ER-negative, but not ER-positive, breast cancer cell lines. Finally, survival analysis of patients with breast cancer shows that the S6 kinase pathway signature subtype of ER-negative cancers confers an extremely poor prognosis, whereas patients whose tumors express high levels of immunomodulatory kinases have a significantly better prognosis. Conclusions: This study identifies a list of kinases that are prognostic and may serve as druggable targets for the treatment of ER-negative breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6327-6340
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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