Jeselsohn R, Bergholz JS, Pun M, Cornwell M, Liu W, Nardone A, Xiao T, Li W, Qiu X, Buchwalter G, Feiglin A, Abell-Hart K, Fei T, Rao P, Long H, Kwiatkowski N, Zhang T, Gray N, Melchers D, Houtman R, Liu XS, Cohen O, Wagle N, Winer EP, Zhao J, Brown M
Estrogen receptor α (ER) ligand-binding domain (LBD) mutations are found in a substantial number of endocrine treatment-resistant metastatic ER-positive (ER) breast cancers. We investigated the chromatin recruitment, transcriptional network, and genetic vulnerabilities in breast cancer models harboring the clinically relevant ER mutations. These mutants exhibit both ligand-independent functions that mimic estradiol-bound wild-type ER as well as allele-specific neomorphic properties that promote a pro-metastatic phenotype. Analysis of the genome-wide ER binding sites identified mutant ER unique recruitment mediating the allele-specific transcriptional program. Genetic screens identified genes that are essential for the ligand-independent growth driven by the mutants. These studies provide insights into the mechanism of endocrine therapy resistance engendered by ER mutations and potential therapeutic targets.