Role of ABL Family Kinases in Breast Cancer

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2016

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Pendergast, Ann Marie

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Abstract

The ABL family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases, ABL1 (also known as c-ABL) and ABL2 (also known as Arg), links diverse extracellular stimuli to signaling pathways that control cell growth, survival, adhesion, migration and invasion. ABL tyrosine kinases play an oncogenic role in human leukemias. However, the role of ABL kinases in solid tumors including breast cancer progression and metastasis is just emerging.

To evaluate whether ABL family kinases are involved in breast cancer development and metastasis, we first analyzed genomic data from large-scale screen of breast cancer patients. We found that ABL kinases are up-regulated in invasive breast cancer patients and high expression of ABL kinases correlates with poor prognosis and early metastasis. Using xenograft mouse models combined with genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrated that ABL kinases are required for regulating breast cancer progression and metastasis to the bone. Using next generation sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, we uncovered a critical role for ABL kinases in promoting multiple oncogenic pathways including TAZ and STAT5 signaling networks and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). These findings revealed a role for ABL kinases in regulating breast cancer tumorigenesis and bone metastasis and provide a rationale for targeting breast tumors with ABL-specific inhibitors.

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Wang, Jun (2016). Role of ABL Family Kinases in Breast Cancer. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12125.

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