Mutant PIK3CA accelerates HER2-driven transgenic mammary tumors and induces resistance to combinations of anti-HER2 therapies

Ariella B. Hanker, Adam D. Pfefferle, Justin M. Balko, María Gabriela Kuba, Christian D. Young, Violeta Sánchez, Cammie R. Sutton, Hailing Cheng, Charles M. Perou, Jean J. Zhao, Rebecca S. Cook, Carlos L. Arteaga

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144 Scopus citations


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2; ERBB2) amplification and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) mutations often co-occur in breast cancer. Aberrant activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway has been shown to correlate with a diminished response to HER2-directed therapies. We generated a mouse model of HER2-overexpressing (HER2+), PIK3CAH1047R-mutant breast cancer. Mice expressing both human HER2 and mutant PIK3CA in the mammary epithelium developed tumors with shorter latencies compared with mice expressing either oncogene alone. HER2 and mutant PIK3CA also cooperated to promote lung metastases. By microarray analysis, HER2-driven tumors clustered with luminal breast cancers, whereas mutant PIK3CA tumors were associated with claudin-low breast cancers. PIK3CA and HER2+/PIK3CA tumors expressed elevated transcripts encoding markers of epithelial-tomesenchymal transition and stem cells. Cells from HER2+/PIK3CA tumors more efficiently formed mammospheres and lung metastases. Finally, HER2+/PIK3CA tumors were resistant to trastuzumab alone and in combination with lapatinib or pertuzumab. Both drug resistance and enhanced mammosphere formationwere reversed by treatment with a PI3K inhibitor. In sum, PIK3CAH1047R accelerates HER2-mediated breast epithelial transformation and metastatic progression, alters the intrinsic phenotype of HER2-overexpressing cancers, and generates resistance to approved combinations of anti-HER2 therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14372-14377
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 27 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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