A phosphoproteomic screen demonstrates differential dependence on HER3 for MAP kinase pathway activation by distinct PIK3CA mutations

Proteomics. 2015 Jan;15(2-3):318-26. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201400342. Epub 2014 Dec 28.


The PIK3CA gene encodes for the p110 alpha isoform of PI3 kinase and is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancers. However, the mechanisms by which PIK3CA mutations activate cell signaling are not fully understood. Here we used a phosphoproteomic approach to compare differential phosphorylation patterns between human breast epithelial cells and two isogenic somatic cell knock in derivatives, each harboring a distinct PIK3CA mutation. We demonstrated differential phosphorylation patterns between isogenic cell lines containing a PIK3CA helical domain mutation (E545K) compared to cells with a PIK3CA kinase domain mutation (H1047R). In particular, the receptor tyrosine kinase, HER3, showed increased phosphorylation at tyrosine 1328 in H1047R cells versus E545K cells. Genetic studies using shRNA demonstrated that H1047R cells have a profound decrease in growth factor independent proliferation upon HER3 knock down, but this effect was attenuated in E545K cells. In addition, HER3 knock down led to reductions in both PI3 kinase and MAP kinase pathway activation in H1047R cells, but in E545K cells only PI3 kinase pathway diminution was observed. These studies demonstrate the power of using paired isogenic cell lines for proteomic analysis to gain new insights into oncogenic signal transduction pathways.

Keywords: Biomedicine; HER3; MAP kinase; PI3 kinase; PIK3CA.

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

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / chemistry
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proteomics*
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptor, ErbB-3 / genetics
  • Receptor, ErbB-3 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • PIK3CA protein, human
  • ERBB3 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases