Her2-positive (Her2+) breast cancer has the second worst prognosis of the five subtypes of breast cancer. The most successful targeted therapy for Her2+ breast cancer to date is trastuzumab (Herceptin)-based. However, the median duration of response to trastuzumab is shorter than 1 year, and about 75% of patients who initially responsed, has experienced resistance to the therapy after a year. Thus, better treatment strategies for Her2+ subtype are urgently needed. We and other researchers previously demonstrated that c-Jun activation domain-binding protein 1 (Jab1) negatively regulates p27, mediates p27 nuclear-to-cytoplasmic export and degradation and contributes to the loss of p27 that is seen in >50% of breast tumors and that correlates with poor clinical outcome in breast cancer cells. Thus, implicates the potential role of Jab1 in interfering with trastuzumab. We identified Jab1/Csn5 as a novel oncogene. Jab1 is amplified and overexpressed in elevated in 50% of primary and 90% of metastatic breast tumors, but is low or absent in normal adult breast tissue. In addition, high Jab1 expression is associated with short progression-free survival durations in breast cancer patients. Our preliminary data showed that inactivation of Jab1/Csn5 in trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells sensitized the cells to trastuzumab in a dose- and time-dependent manners. However, the ways in which Jab1 expression is up-regulated in Her2+ breast cancer cells and how this up-regulation drives trastuzumab resistance remain largely unclear. In this study, we will seek to analyze the cross-talk between Src/Stat3 or Akt signaling and Jab1 activation in breast carcinoma. We have found that Stat3 is a novel positive regulator of Jab1 expression in breast cancer cells and that Jab1 overexpression driven by the Src/Stat3 pathway compensates for trastuzumab's inhibition of Her2 signaling in Her2+ breast cancer cells. This suggests that activated Stat3, by up-regulating Jab1 expression, inhibits trastuzumab-induced cell-cycle arrest. In general, our proposed study elucidates Jab1 as a novel contributor to trastuzumab resistance and determine its potential as a prognostic and predictive marker as well as an important therapeutic target. The successful completion of our study would benefit breast cancer patients in three ways. 1) Because Jab1 is rarely expressed in mammary epithelial cells, targeting Jab1 would be less toxic to normal epithelial cells, compared to other agents. 2) Combining Jab1 with trastuzumab would interfere with both Src/Stat3 and Akt pathway. This would significantly benefit patients with Her2+ breast cancer refractory to this therapy due to PTEN loss or activating mutant Stat3. 3) Because Jab1 expression is higher in trastuzumab-resistant cells than in trastuzumab-sensitive cells, Jab1 could be used as a marker of tumor response to trastuzumab.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 1912. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-1912