STEAP2 is down-regulated in breast cancer tissue and suppresses PI3K/AKT signaling and breast cancer cell invasion in vitro and in vivo

Yang, Q; Ji, GX; Li, JY

Li, JY (reprint author), Shandong Univ, Shandong Prov Hosp, Dept Breast & Thyroid Surg, Jinan 250021, Shandong, Peoples R China.

CANCER BIOLOGY & THERAPY, 2020; 21 (3): 278


The six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of prostate 2 (STEAP2) protein was identified in advanced prostate cancer, and is highly over-expressed in various types of cancer. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic value and the function of STEAP2 in breast cancer. STEAP2 mRNA and protein expressions in breast normal and cancer tissues, breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, BT-549, BT-474, MDA-MB-361, HCC1937, and MDA-MB-468) and normal mammary epithelial cell lines (HBL-100 and MCF-10A) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, real time RT-qPCR and western blotting. The expression of STEAP2 in breast cancer tissues and its value of evaluating the prognosis of breast cancer patients was validated in the Public Databases (Oncomine and Kaplan-Meier plotter database). Lentiviral vectors with STEAP2 cDNA and shRNA were constructed and used to infect breast cancer cell lines and normal mammary epithelial cell line to investigate the effects of STEAP2 up- and down- regulation on the biological behavior of breast cells. The low expression of STEAP2 was detected in breast cancer tissues, which was associated with malignant phenotype and poor prognosis of breast cancer. The public databases analyses were consistent with our findings. STEAP2 up-regulation hindered cellular proliferation, invasion and metastasis abilities by inhibiting EMT process and suppressing PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. On the other hand, STEAP2 down-regulation could promote cell proliferation and invasion by inducing EMT and activating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Collectively, STEAP2 acted as an anti-oncogene in breast cancer development, which suggested a new research objective for the future studies.

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