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BMB Reports  2012 

HER2 induces expression of leptin in human breast epithelial cells

Keywords: Breast cancer , ErBb2 , HER2 , Leptin

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A close association between the obesity hormone leptin andbreast cancer progression has been suggested. The presentstudy investigated the molecular mechanism for enhancedleptin expression in breast cancer cells and its functionalsignificance in breast cancer aggressiveness. We examinedwhether leptin expression level is affected by the oncoproteinhuman epidermal growth factor receptor2 (HER2), which isoverexpressed in ~30% of breast tumors. Here, we report, forthe first time, that HER2 induces transcriptional activation ofleptin in MCF10A human breast epithelial cells. We alsoshowed that p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signalingwas involved in leptin expression induced by HER2. Weshowed a crucial role of leptin in the invasiveness ofHER2-MCF10A cells using an siRNA molecule targeting leptin.Taken together, the results indicate a molecular link betweenHER2 and leptin, providing supporting evidence that leptinrepresents a target for breast cancer therapy.


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