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Amphiregulin as a Novel Target for Breast Cancer Therapy

  • Nicole E. Willmarth
  • Stephen P. Ethier
Article

Abstract

Amphiregulin, an EGF family growth factor, binds and activates the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or ErbB1). Activation of the EGFR by amphiregulin can occur through autocrine, paracrine and juxtacrine mechanisms. Amphiregulin plays a role in several biological processes including nerve regeneration, blastocyst implantation, and bone formation. Amphiregulin also plays an important role in mammary duct formation as well as the outgrowth and branching of several other human tissues such as the lung, kidney and prostate. This effect is most likely due to the induction of genes involved in invasion and migration such as cytokines and matrix metalloproteases. Clinical studies have suggested that amphiregulin also plays a role in human breast cancer progression and its expression has been associated with aggressive disease. Therefore, amphiregulin may be a novel and effective target for the treatment of breast cancer and could represent an alternative to targeting the EGFR.

Keywords

Amphiregulin Breast cancer EGFR 

Abbreviations

AR

amphiregulin

BTC

betacellulin

EGF

epidermal growth factor

EGFR

epidermal growth factor receptor

HB-EGF

heparin binding epidermal growth factor

TGF-α

transforming growth factor alpha

SH2

Src homology 2

PTB

phosphotyrosine binding

PMA

phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate

cAMP

cyclic AMP

CRE

cAMP response element

SRE

serum responsive element

SP1

highly conserved specificity protein 1 element

WRE

Wnt responsive element

HSPG

heparin sulfate proteoglycan

HME

human mammary epithelial

TACE

TNF-α converting enzyme

ECM

extracellular matrix

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer BiologyThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Breast Cancer Program, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Department of PathologyWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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