Metadherin in Metastasis and Chemoresistance of Breast Cancer Summary: Most breast cancer patients succumb to recurrent tumors that spread to distant vital organs and resist currently available therapeutic regiments. Recent studies have identified Metadherin (MTDH) as a candidate metastasis gene that plays a dual role in promoting breast cancer metastasis and chemoresistance. Our proposed study is based on the following preliminary observations: 1) MTDH is located at the epicenter of 8q22, a genomic region that is frequently amplified in poor-prognosis breast cancer patients;2) MTDH overexpression is detected in over 40% of breast tumor speciemens, and is strongly correlated with poor survival and higher risk of metastasis for breast cancer patients;3) MTDH overexpression promotes metastastasis to lung and other organs in an experimental metastasis model. Conversely, inhibition of MTDH expression by RNA interference reduces lung metastasis;4) MTDH promotes adhesion of breast tumor cells to vascular endothelial cells in vitro and increases metastatic seeding efficiency in animal metastasis assays;5) MTDH enhances chemoresistance of breast cancer cells to a broad spectrum chemotherapeutic agents as well as other physiological stresses. MTDH-mediated chemoresistance is most pronouced when cancer cells are co-cultured with endothelial cells. Based on these preliminary observations, we postulate that the pro-metastasis and chemoresistance functions of MTDH are mediated through its interaction with unknown interacting protein(s) expressed by endothelial cells. Such interaction activates downstream signaling events and alters gene expression in both tumor and endothelial cells. Blocking the interaction between MTDH and its interacting proteins will inhibit metastasis and sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapies. The long-term goals of our research are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis and chemoresistance mediated by MTDH and explore the therapeutic applications of inhibiting MTDH function. To this end, we will use genetic and biochemical approaches to identify and characterize MTDH-interacting proteins that mediate tumor-endothelium interaction and explore the potential benefit of inhibiting such interaction (Aim1). We will define the molecular mechanism of MTDH induced chemoresistance and determine the therapeutic potential of MTDH targeting using experimental tumorigenesis and metastasis models (Aim2). Furthermore, we will generate transgenic and knockout mice for MTDH and test the effect of altered MTDH expression on tumorigenesis and metastasis in transgenic animals that are genetically prone to developing mammary tumors. Transgenic and knockout animals of MTDH will also allow us to directly address the physiological role of MTDH in development and mammary gland function (Aim3). The proposed study will identify key components of the molecular network that mediate the metastasis and chemoresistance functions of MTDH and provide new strategies to prevent or reduce chemoresistant metastasis of breast cancer. Metadherin in Metastasis and Chemoresistance of Breast Cancer.

Public Health Relevance

Over 90% of breast cancer related deaths are due to inoperable relapsed tumors in distant vital organs that resist conventional chemotherapies. Our proposed studies will provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of Metadherin in metastasis and chemoresistance. Furthermore, our research will facilitate the development of anti-metastasis therapeutics based on molecular targeting of Metadherin.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics Study Section (BMCT)
Program Officer
Forry, Suzanne L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Princeton University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Zheng, Hanqiu; Bae, Yangjin; Kasimir-Bauer, Sabine et al. (2017) Therapeutic Antibody Targeting Tumor- and Osteoblastic Niche-Derived Jagged1 Sensitizes Bone Metastasis to Chemotherapy. Cancer Cell 32:731-747.e6
Ale?kovi?, Maša; Wei, Yong; LeRoy, Gary et al. (2017) Identification of Nidogen 1 as a lung metastasis protein through secretome analysis. Genes Dev 31:1439-1455
Li, Zhuo; Kang, Yibin (2016) Emerging therapeutic targets in metastatic progression: A focus on breast cancer. Pharmacol Ther 161:79-96
Ren, Guangwen; Esposito, Mark; Kang, Yibin (2015) Bone metastasis and the metastatic niche. J Mol Med (Berl) 93:1203-12
Ale?kovi?, Maša; Kang, Yibin (2015) Regulation of cancer metastasis by cell-free miRNAs. Biochim Biophys Acta 1855:24-42
Chakrabarti, Rumela; Kang, Yibin (2015) Transplantable mouse tumor models of breast cancer metastasis. Methods Mol Biol 1267:367-80
Chakrabarti, Rumela; Wei, Yong; Hwang, Julie et al. (2014) ?Np63 promotes stem cell activity in mammary gland development and basal-like breast cancer by enhancing Fzd7 expression and Wnt signalling. Nat Cell Biol 16:1004-15, 1-13
Zheng, Hanqiu; Shen, Minhong; Zha, Yin-Lian et al. (2014) PKD1 phosphorylation-dependent degradation of SNAIL by SCF-FBXO11 regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis. Cancer Cell 26:358-373
Wan, Liling; Hu, Guohong; Wei, Yong et al. (2014) Genetic ablation of metadherin inhibits autochthonous prostate cancer progression and metastasis. Cancer Res 74:5336-47
Li, Wenyang; Kang, Yibin (2014) A new Lnc in metastasis: long noncoding RNA mediates the prometastatic functions of TGF-?. Cancer Cell 25:557-9

Showing the most recent 10 out of 41 publications