Overexpression of HER2 modulates bcl-2, Bcl-X(L) and tamoxifen induced apoptosis in human MCP-7 breast cancer cells

Rakesh Kumar, Mahitosh Mandal, Allan Lipton, Harold Harvey, Craig B. Thompson

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Overexpression of HER2 in estrogen receptor (ER)positive human breast tumors has been associated with resistance to endocrine therapy. Here we investigated the effects of HER2 on expression of apoptotic pathways and modulation of tamoxifen-induced apoptosis in ER-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We report that HER2 overexpression in MCF-7 cells is accompanied by up-regulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) proteins and suppression of tamoxifen-induced apoptosis. In addition, human tumor cell lines that are both ER positive and overexpress HER2 also express enhanced levels of Bcl-2 compared to cells that are either ER positive or overexpress HER2 alone. Our findings suggest that possible deregulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-X, may be associated with the enhanced survival of HER2-overexpressing and ER-positive breast cancer cells treated with antiestrogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1219
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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