siRNA-based targeting of cyclin E overexpression inhibits breast cancer cell growth and suppresses tumor development in breast cancer mouse model

PLoS One. 2010 Sep 20;5(9):e12860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012860.


Cyclin E is aberrantly expressed in many types of cancer including breast cancer. High levels of the full length as well as the low molecular weight isoforms of cyclin E are associated with poor prognosis of breast cancer patients. Notably, cyclin E overexpression is also correlated with triple-negative basal-like breast cancers, which lack specific therapeutic targets. In this study, we used siRNA to target cyclin E overexpression and assessed its ability to suppress breast cancer growth in nude mice. Our results revealed that cyclin E siRNA could effectively inhibit overexpression of both full length and low molecular weight isoforms of cyclin E. We found that depletion of cyclin E promoted apoptosis of cyclin E-overexpressing cells and blocked their proliferation and transformation phenotypes. Significantly, we further demonstrated that administration of cyclin E siRNA could inhibit breast tumor growth in nude mice. In addition, we found that cyclin E siRNA synergistically enhanced the cell killing effects of doxorubicin in cell culture and this combination greatly suppressed the tumor growth in mice. In conclusion, our results indicate that cyclin E, which is overexpressed in 30% of breast cancer, may serve as a novel and effective therapeutic target. More importantly, our study clearly demonstrates a very promising therapeutic potential of cyclin E siRNA for treating the cyclin E-overexpressing breast cancers, including the very malignant triple-negative breast cancers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cyclin E / genetics*
  • Cyclin E / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplastic Processes
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cyclin E
  • RNA, Small Interfering