Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 5107–5115 | Cite as

Filamin A (FLNA) modulates chemosensitivity to docetaxel in triple-negative breast cancer through the MAPK/ERK pathway

  • Pengxin Zhao
  • Weiyuan Ma
  • Zhigang Hu
  • Leilei Zang
  • Zhisheng Tian
  • Kaili Zhang
Original Article


A previous RNA interference (RNAi) screen identified filamin A (FLNA) as a potential biomarker to predict chemosensitivity in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, its ability to modulate chemosensitivity and the underlying mechanism has not been investigated. Genetic manipulation of FLNA expression has been performed in an immortalized noncancerous human mammary epithelial cell line and four TNBC cell lines to investigate its effect on chemosensitivity. Western blot analysis was performed to identify the potential signaling pathway involved. Xenograft mouse model was used to examine the in vivo role of FLNA in modulating chemosensitivity. Overexpression of FLNA conferred chemoresistance to docetaxel in noncancerous human mammary epithelial cells. Knockdown of FLNA sensitized four TNBC cell lines, MDA-MB-231, HCC38, Htb126, and HCC1937 to docetaxel which was reversed by reconstituted FLNA expression. Decreased FLNA expression correlated with decreased activation of ERK. Constitutive activation of ERK2 reversed siFLNA-induced chemosensitization. Inhibition of MEK1 recapitulates the effect of FLNA knockdown. MDA-MB-231 xenograft with FLNA knockdown showed enhanced response to docetaxel compared with control xenograft with increased apoptosis. FLNA can function as a modulator of chemosensitivity to docetaxel in TNBC cells through regulation of the MAPK/ERK pathway both in vitro and in vivo. FLNA may serve as a novel therapeutic target for improvement of chemotherapy efficacy in TNBC.


FLNA Chemoresistance Docetaxel Triple-negative breast cancer MAPK/ERK 


Compliance with ethical standards


This work was funded by Hebei Medical Development Funding (HMDF-KJJ).

Conflicts of interest


Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pengxin Zhao
    • 1
  • Weiyuan Ma
    • 1
  • Zhigang Hu
    • 1
  • Leilei Zang
    • 1
  • Zhisheng Tian
    • 1
  • Kaili Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gland SurgeryThe Second Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina

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