Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is an aggressive breast cancer subtype with poor response to chemotherapy. Besides loss of E-cadherin, a hallmark of ILC, genetic inactivation of PTEN is frequently observed in patients. Through concomitant Cre-mediated inactivation of E-cadherin and PTEN in mammary epithelium, we generated a mouse model of classical ILC (CLC), the main histological ILC subtype. While loss of E-cadherin induced cell dissemination and apoptosis, additional PTEN inactivation promoted cell survival and rapid formation of invasive mammary tumors that recapitulate the histological and molecular features, estrogen receptor (ER) status, growth kinetics, metastatic behavior, and tumor microenvironment of human CLC. Combined inactivation of E-cadherin and PTEN is sufficient to cause CLC development. These CLCs showed significant tumor regression upon BEZ235-mediated inhibition of PI3K signaling. In summary, this mouse model provides important insights into CLC development and suggests inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling as a potential therapeutic strategy for targeting CLC.
Keywords: BEZ235; Cre-lox; E-cadherin; PTEN; breast cancer; classical invasive lobular carcinoma; genetically engineered mouse model; metastasis; tumor microenvironment.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.