Overexpression of HER2 (erbB2) in human breast epithelial cells unmasks transforming growth factor β-induced cell motility

Yukiko Ueda, Shizhen Wang, Nancy Dumont, Jae Youn Yi, Yasuhiro Koh, Carlos L. Arteaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


We have examined overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) to determine if it modifies the anti-proliferative effect of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β against MCF-10A human mammary epithelial cells. Exogenous TGF-β inhibited cell proliferation and induced Smad-dependent transcriptional reporter activity in both MCF-10A/HER2 and MCF-10A/vector control cells. Ligand-induced reporter activity was 7-fold higher in HER2-overexpressing cells. In wound closure and transwell assays, TGF-β induced motility of HER2-transduced, but not control cells. The HER2-blocking antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) prevented TGF-β-induced cell motility. Expression of a constitutively active TGF-β type I receptor (ALK5T204D) induced motility of MCF-10A/HER2 but not MCF-10A/vector cells. TGF-β-induced motility was blocked by coincubation with either the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor U0126, the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190, and an integrin β1 blocking antibody. Rac1 activity was higher in HER2-overexpressing cells, where both Rac1 and Pak1 proteins were constitutively associated with HER2. Both exogenous TGF-β and transduction with constitutively active ALK5 enhanced this association. TGF-β induced actin stress fibers as well as lamellipodia within the leading edge of wounds. Herceptin blocked basal and TGF-β-stimulated Rac1 activity but did not repress TGF-β-stimulated transcriptional reporter activity. These data suggest that 1) overexpression of HER2 in nontumorigenic mammary epithelial is permissive for the ability of TGF-β to induce cell motility and Rac1 activity, and 2) HER2 and TGF-β signaling cooperate in the induction of cellular events associated with tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24505-24513
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 4 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Overexpression of HER2 (erbB2) in human breast epithelial cells unmasks transforming growth factor β-induced cell motility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this