Na+/K+ ATPase activity promotes invasion of endocrine resistant breast cancer cells

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Background The Na+/K+-ATPase (NKP) is an important ion transporter also involved in signal transduction. Its expression profile is altered in various tumours including that of the breast. We studied the effect of inhibiting NKP activity in non-tumorigenic breast cell line and in estrogen receptor positive and negative breast cancer cells. Methods Expression and localization of NKP and downstream signaling molecules were determined by RT-PCR, western blotting and immunofluorescence. Cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle stage were determined using MTT, annexin V and flow cytometry. Cell motility and invasion were determined using wound healing and matrigel assays. Total matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) was determined by a fluorescence-based assay. Results NKP was mainly localized on the cell membrane. Its baseline expression and activity were enhanced in breast cancer compared to the non-tumorigenic breast cell line. Ouabain and 3,4,5,6-tetrahydroxyxanthone (TTX) treatment significantly inhibited NKP activity, which significantly reduced cell proliferation, motility, invasion and pH-induced membrane blebbing. EGF stimulation induced internalization of NKP from the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. Ouabain inhibited EGF-induced phosphorylation of Rac/cdc42, profillin, ERK1/2 and P70S6K. Conclusions The NKP may offer a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer patients who have developed metastasis, aiming to improve therapeutic outcomes and enhance survival rate.




Khajah, M. A., Mathew, P. M., & Luqmani, Y. A. (2018). Na+/K+ ATPase activity promotes invasion of endocrine resistant breast cancer cells. PLoS ONE, 13(3).

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