Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s13046-018-0762-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The most striking feature of molecular apocrine breast cancer (MABC) is the expression of androgen receptor (AR). We report here the mechanism of the AR in regulating the behavior of MABC.
The MABC cell line, MDA-MB-453, and the nonMABC cell line, MCF7, were used in this study. The effect of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) on cell proliferation was quantified using the cell counter kit-8 (CCK8) and clonogenic assays in vitro and by a xenograft tumor model in vivo. The expression of the AR and HSP27 was analyzed using western blot, qPCR, and immunofluorescence assays. Complexes of the AR and HSP27 were detected by co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP).
In MDA-MB-453 cells, DHT promoted cell proliferation and stimulated AR and HSP27 translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, whereas, it inhibited MCF7 cell growth, and only the AR translocated into the nucleus. HSP27 knock-down decreased the proliferative ability of MDA-MB-453 cells, which could be rescued by DHT, while HSP27 and DHT had synergistic effects on MCF7 cells. HSP27 phosphorylation was a prerequisite for AR translocation into the nucleus, especially phosphorylation on serine 82. In addition, DHT stimulated the tumorigenic and metastatic capacities of MDA-MB-453 cells, while HSP27 knock-down decreased the rate of tumor formation and induced apoptosis in cells.
The results suggest that HSP27 assists the AR in regulating the malignant behavior of MABC, and these findings might be helpful in the treatment of MABC.