Inherent and acquired therapeutic resistance in breast cancer remains a major clinical challenge. In human breast cancer samples, overexpression of the oncogenic transcription factor FoxM1 has been suggested to be a marker of poor prognosis. In this study, we report that FoxM1 overexpression confers resistance to the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 monoclonal antibody Herceptin and microtubule-stabilizing drug paclitaxel, both as single agents and in combination. FoxM1 altered microtubule dynamics to protect tumor cells from paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. Mechanistic investigations revealed that the tubulin-destabilizing protein Stathmin, whose expression also confers resistance to paclitaxel, is a direct transcriptional target of FoxM1. Significantly, attenuating FoxM1 expression by small interfering RNA or an alternate reading frame (ARF)-derived peptide inhibitor increased therapeutic sensitivity. Our findings indicate that targeting FoxM1 could relieve therapeutic resistance in breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research