The AMPK-related Kinase HUNK: Potential Target for HER2-positive Breast Cancer

Elizabeth S Yeh, Elizabeth G Hill

Abstract


Purpose: Approximately 25% of breast cancer patients are diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancers. Although several targeted inhibitors to HER2 are approved for use in breast cancer, many patients either fail therapy or eventually become resistant to HER2 inhibitors. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms that allow breast cancer cells to overcome treatment and become resistance is of critical importance.

Methods: We have characterized an AMPK-related protein kinase called Hormonally Upregulated Neu-associated Kinase (HUNK) as a potential target for primary HER2-positive breast cancer using breast cancer cell and HER2/neu-induced mouse mammary tumor models. We have also investigated whether inhibiting HUNK impairs in vivo tumor growth that is initiated by primary (HER2 inhibitor sensitive) and HER2 inhibitor resistant breast cancer cells.

Results: We found that HUNK supports the survival of primary HER2/neu-positive breast and mammary tumor cells as well as that of HER2 inhibitor resistant breast cancer cells. Therefore, targeting HUNK in primary HER2-positive breast cancers as well as those that are resistant to the HER2 inhibitor trastuzumab, inhibits tumorigenesis.

Conclusions: We conclude from our findings that targeting HUNK is a potential therapeutic strategy for primary and resistant HER2-positive breast cancers.

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Cite this article as:  Yeh ES, Hill EG. The AMPK-related Kinase HUNK: Potential Target for HER2-positive Breast Cancer. Int J Cancer Ther Oncol 2015; 3(4):3406.

[This abstract was presented at the BIT’s 8th Annual World Cancer Congress, which was held from May 15-17, 2015 in Beijing, China.]




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International Journal of Cancer Therapy and Oncology (ISSN 2330-4049)

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