A protein interaction landscape of breast cancer

Science. 2021 Oct;374(6563):eabf3066. doi: 10.1126/science.abf3066. Epub 2021 Oct 1.


Cancers have been associated with a diverse array of genomic alterations. To help mechanistically understand such alterations in breast-invasive carcinoma, we applied affinity purification–mass spectrometry to delineate comprehensive biophysical interaction networks for 40 frequently altered breast cancer (BC) proteins, with and without relevant mutations, across three human breast cell lines. These networks identify cancer-specific protein-protein interactions (PPIs), interconnected and enriched for common and rare cancer mutations, that are substantially rewired by the introduction of key BC mutations. Our analysis identified BPIFA1 and SCGB2A1 as PIK3CA-interacting proteins, which repress PI3K-AKT signaling, and uncovered USP28 and UBE2N as functionally relevant interactors of BRCA1. We also show that the protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit spinophilin interacts with and regulates dephosphorylation of BRCA1 to promote DNA double-strand break repair. Thus, PPI landscapes provide a powerful framework for mechanistically interpreting disease genomic data and can identify valuable therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Interaction Maps*
  • Tandem Affinity Purification


  • Neoplasm Proteins