NF-κB has been linked to doxorubicin resistance in breast cancer patients. NF-κB nuclear translocation and DNA binding in doxorubicin treated-breast cancer cells have been extensively examined; however its functional relevance at transcriptional level on NF-κB-dependent genes and the biological consequences are unclear. We studied NF-κB-dependent gene expression induced by doxorubicin in breast cancer cells and fresh human cancer specimens with different genetic backgrounds focusing on their p53 status. NF-κB -dependent signature of doxorubicin was identified by gene expression microarrays in breast cancer cells treated with doxorubicin and the IKKß-inhibitor MLN120B, and confirmed ex vivo in human cancer samples. The association with p53 was functionally validated. Finally, NF-κB activation and p53 status was determined in a cohort of breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant doxorubicin-based chemotherapy. Doxorubicin treatment in the p53-mutated MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in NF NF-κB driven-gene transcription signature. Modulation of genes related with invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance (ICAM-1, CXCL1, TNFAIP3, IL8) were confirmed in additional doxorubicin-treated cell lines and fresh primary human breast tumors. In both systems, p53-deficient background correlated with the activation of the NF-κB-dependent signature. Furthermore, restoration of p53WT in the mutant p53 MDAMB-231 cells impaired NF-κB driven transcription induced by doxorubicin. Moreover, a p53 deficient background and nuclear NF-κB /p65 in breast cancer patients correlated with reduced disease free-survival. This study supports that p53 deficiency is necessary for a doxorubicin driven NF-κB-response that limits doxorubicin cytotoxicity in breast cancer and is linked to an aggressive clinical behavior.
- Breast cancer