A role for the scaffolding adapter GAB2 in breast cancer

Nat Med. 2006 Jan;12(1):114-21. doi: 10.1038/nm1341. Epub 2005 Dec 20.


The scaffolding adapter GAB2 maps to a region (11q13-14) commonly amplified in human breast cancer, and is overexpressed in breast cancer cell lines and primary tumors, but its functional role in mammary carcinogenesis has remained unexplored. We found that overexpression of GAB2 (Grb2-associated binding protein 2) increases proliferation of MCF10A mammary cells in three-dimensional culture. Coexpression of GAB2 with antiapoptotic oncogenes causes lumenal filling, whereas coexpression with Neu (also known as ErbB2 and HER2) results in an invasive phenotype. These effects of GAB2 are mediated by hyperactivation of the Shp2-Erk pathway. Furthermore, overexpression of Gab2 potentiates, whereas deficiency of Gab2 ameliorates, Neu-evoked breast carcinogenesis in mice. Finally, GAB2 is amplified in some GAB2-overexpressing human breast tumors. Our data suggest that GAB2 may be a key gene within an 11q13 amplicon in human breast cancer and propose a role for overexpression of GAB2 in mammary carcinogenesis. Agents that target GAB2 or GAB2-dependent pathways may be useful for treating breast tumors that overexpress GAB2 or HER2 or both.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Ki-67 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 11
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Time Factors


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • GAB2 protein, human
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • PTPN11 protein, human
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 11
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Ptpn11 protein, mouse