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Novel function of THEMIS2 in the enhancement of cancer stemness and chemoresistance by releasing PTP1B from MET

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) possesses poor prognosis mainly due to lack of effective endocrine or targeted therapies, aggressive nature and high rate of chemoresistance. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered to play critical roles in cancer recurrence and chemoresistance. THEMIS2 was identified as the sole common elevated gene in three triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and two ovarian CSC lines. We discovered an intrinsic signaling scaffold function of THEMIS2, which acts as a novel regulator of cancer stemness in promoting multiple cancer stemness properties including sphere formation, stemness markers expression, chemoresistance and tumorigenicity with low numbers of cancer cells implantation. For the first time, we demonstrated that THEMIS2 specifically enhanced MET activating phosphorylation by suppressing the association of protein-tyrosine phosphatases 1B (PTP1B) with p-MET and MET, which accounted mainly for THEMIS2-mediated effect on cancer stemness and chemoresistance. Increased THEMIS2 expression was associated with poor survival in TNBC patients and in patients from our breast cancer cohort. We found that non-cytotoxic dosages of cryptotanshinone (CPT) could potently inhibit cancer stemness, chemoresistance and tumorigenicity by suppressing expression of THEMIS2. Notably, stable overexpression of THEMIS2 is associated with enhanced sensitivity toward Capmatinib and CPT treatment. Expression levels of THEMIS2 and p-MET protein were positively correlated in the 465 breast cancer specimens. Our study revealed the novel oncogenic role of THEMIS2 and its underlying mechanism via suppressing PTP1B association with MET and thus leading to its activation. Our findings suggest that THEMIS2 could be a biomarker for MET targeted therapy and also provide a potential clinical application using low dosages of CPT for treatment of THEMIS2 positive TNBC.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information
S2788 Capmatinib (INCB28060) Capmatinib (INCB28060, INC280, NVP-INC280) is a novel, ATP-competitive inhibitor of c-MET with IC50 of 0.13 nM in a cell-free assay, inactive against RONβ, as well as EGFR and HER-3. Capmatinib (INCB28060) inhibits Wnt/β-catenin and EMT signaling pathways and induces apoptosis in diffuse gastric cancer positive for c-MET amplification. Phase 1.

Related Targets

Apoptosis related Wnt/beta-catenin c-Met