Mechanisms of acquired resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer, a major clinical challenge, are poorly understood. We have used a mass spectrometry-based screen to identify proteins that are associated with the endocrine-resistant phenotype. In this study, we report the identification of a novel pathway of resistance to endocrine therapy involving interactions of the developmental transcription HOXC11 with the steroid receptor coactivator protein SRC-1, which is a strong predictor of reduced disease-free survival in breast cancer patients. HOXC11 and SRC-1 cooperate to regulate expression of the calcium-binding protein S100beta in resistant breast cancer cells. Nuclear HOXC11 and S100beta were found to strongly predict poor disease-free survival in breast cancer patients (n = 560; hazard ratios: 5.79 and 5.82, respectively; P < 0.0001). Elevated serum levels of S100beta detected in patients also predicted reduced disease-free survival (n = 80; hazard ratio: 5.3; P = 0.004). Our findings define a biomolecular interaction network that drives an adaptive response to endocrine therapy with negative consequences for survival in breast cancer.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->