Publications by authors named "Martin J Shea"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

In vivo longitudinal imaging of RNA interference-induced endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer.

J Biophotonics 2020 01 9;13(1):e201900180. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Division of Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer is a major obstacle in the treatment of patients with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) tumors. Herein, we demonstrate the feasibility of longitudinal, noninvasive and semiquantitative in vivo molecular imaging of resistance to three endocrine therapies by using an inducible fluorescence-labeled short hairpin RNA (shRNA) system in orthotopic mice xenograft tumors. We employed a dual fluorescent doxycycline (Dox)-regulated lentiviral inducer system to transfect ER+ MCF7L breast cancer cells, with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression as a marker of transfection and red fluorescent protein (RFP) expression as a surrogate marker of Dox-induced tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) knockdown. Xenografted MCF7L tumor-bearing nude mice were randomized to therapies comprising estrogen deprivation, tamoxifen or an ER degrader (fulvestrant) and an estrogen-treated control group. Longitudinal imaging was performed by a home-built multispectral imaging system based on a cooled image intensified charge coupled device camera. The GFP signal, which corresponds to number of viable tumor cells, exhibited excellent correlation to caliper-measured tumor size (P < .05). RFP expression was substantially higher in mice exhibiting therapy resistance and strongly and significantly (P < 1e-7) correlated with the tumor size progression for the mice with shRNA-induced PTEN knockdown. PTEN loss was strongly correlated with resistance to estrogen deprivation, tamoxifen and fulvestrant therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201900180DOI Listing
January 2020

The oral selective oestrogen receptor degrader (SERD) AZD9496 is comparable to fulvestrant in antagonising ER and circumventing endocrine resistance.

Br J Cancer 2019 02 17;120(3):331-339. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: The oestrogen receptor (ER) is an important therapeutic target in ER-positive (ER+) breast cancer. The selective ER degrader (SERD), fulvestrant, is effective in patients with metastatic breast cancer, but its intramuscular route of administration and low bioavailability are major clinical limitations.

Methods: Here, we studied the pharmacology of a new oral SERD, AZD9496, in a panel of in vitro and in vivo endocrine-sensitive and -resistant breast cancer models.

Results: In endocrine-sensitive models, AZD9496 inhibited cell growth and blocked ER activity in the presence or absence of oestrogen. In vivo, in the presence of oestrogen, short-term AZD9496 treatment, like fulvestrant, resulted in tumour growth inhibition and reduced expression of ER-dependent genes. AZD9496 inhibited cell growth in oestrogen deprivation-resistant and tamoxifen-resistant cell lines and xenograft models that retain ER expression. AZD9496 effectively reduced ER levels and ER-induced transcription. Expression analysis of short-term treated tumours showed that AZD9496 potently inhibited classic oestrogen-induced gene transcription, while simultaneously increasing expression of genes negatively regulated by ER, including genes potentially involved in escape pathways of endocrine resistance.

Conclusions: These data suggest that AZD9496 is a potent anti-oestrogen that antagonises and degrades ER with anti-tumour activity in both endocrine-sensitive and endocrine-resistant models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0354-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6353941PMC
February 2019

An epigenomic approach to therapy for tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer.

Cell Res 2014 Jul 30;24(7):809-19. Epub 2014 May 30.

1] Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA [2] Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Tamoxifen has been a frontline treatment for estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast tumors in premenopausal women. However, resistance to tamoxifen occurs in many patients. ER still plays a critical role in the growth of breast cancer cells with acquired tamoxifen resistance, suggesting that ERα remains a valid target for treatment of tamoxifen-resistant (Tam-R) breast cancer. In an effort to identify novel regulators of ERα signaling, through a small-scale siRNA screen against histone methyl modifiers, we found WHSC1, a histone H3K36 methyltransferase, as a positive regulator of ERα signaling in breast cancer cells. We demonstrated that WHSC1 is recruited to the ERα gene by the BET protein BRD3/4, and facilitates ERα gene expression. The small-molecule BET protein inhibitor JQ1 potently suppressed the classic ERα signaling pathway and the growth of Tam-R breast cancer cells in culture. Using a Tam-R breast cancer xenograft mouse model, we demonstrated in vivo anti-breast cancer activity by JQ1 and a strong long-lasting effect of combination therapy with JQ1 and the ER degrader fulvestrant. Taken together, we provide evidence that the epigenomic proteins BRD3/4 and WHSC1 are essential regulators of estrogen receptor signaling and are novel therapeutic targets for treatment of Tam-R breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cr.2014.71DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085766PMC
July 2014

Epigenetic reprogramming of HOXC10 in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Sci Transl Med 2014 Mar;6(229):229ra41

Graduate Program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Resistance to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) is a major clinical problem in the treatment of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. In two breast cancer cell line models of AI resistance, we identified widespread DNA hyper- and hypomethylation, with enrichment for promoter hypermethylation of developmental genes. For the homeobox gene HOXC10, methylation occurred in a CpG shore, which overlapped with a functional ER binding site, causing repression of HOXC10 expression. Although short-term blockade of ER signaling caused relief of HOXC10 repression in both cell lines and breast tumors, it also resulted in concurrent recruitment of EZH2 and increased H3K27me3, ultimately transitioning to increased DNA methylation and silencing of HOXC10. Reduced HOXC10 in vitro and in xenografts resulted in decreased apoptosis and caused antiestrogen resistance. Supporting this, we used paired primary and metastatic breast cancer specimens to show that HOXC10 was reduced in tumors that recurred during AI treatment. We propose a model in which estrogen represses apoptotic and growth-inhibitory genes such as HOXC10, contributing to tumor survival, whereas AIs induce these genes to cause apoptosis and therapeutic benefit, but long-term AI treatment results in permanent repression of these genes via methylation and confers resistance. Therapies aimed at inhibiting AI-induced histone and DNA methylation may be beneficial in blocking or delaying AI resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3008326DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277862PMC
March 2014