Rafn B, Nielsen CF, Andersen SH, Szyniarowski P, Corcelle-Termeau E, Valo E, Fehrenbacher N, Olsen CJ, Daugaard M, Egebjerg C, Bøttzauw T, Kohonen P, Nylandsted J, Hautaniemi S, Moreira J, Jäättelä M, Kallunki T
Aberrant ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase activation in breast cancer is strongly linked to an invasive disease. The molecular basis of ErbB2-driven invasion is largely unknown. We show that cysteine cathepsins B and L are elevated in ErbB2 positive primary human breast cancer and function as effectors of ErbB2-induced invasion in vitro. We identify Cdc42-binding protein kinase beta, extracellular regulated kinase 2, p21-activated protein kinase 4, and protein kinase C alpha as essential mediators of ErbB2-induced cysteine cathepsin expression and breast cancer cell invasiveness. The identified signaling network activates the transcription of cathepsin B gene (CTSB) via myeloid zinc finger-1 transcription factor that binds to an ErbB2-responsive enhancer element in the first intron of CTSB. This work provides a model system for ErbB2-induced breast cancer cell invasiveness, reveals a signaling network that is crucial for invasion in vitro, and defines a specific role and targets for the identified serine-threonine kinases.