Loss of RasGAP Tumor Suppressors Underlies the Aggressive Nature of Luminal B Breast Cancers

Date Published:

2017 Feb


Luminal breast cancers are typically estrogen receptor-positive and generally have the best prognosis. However, a subset of luminal tumors, namely luminal B cancers, frequently metastasize and recur. Unfortunately, the causal events that drive their progression are unknown, and therefore it is difficult to identify individuals who are likely to relapse and should receive escalated treatment. Here, we identify a bifunctional RasGAP tumor suppressor whose expression is lost in almost 50% of luminal B tumors. Moreover, we show that two RasGAP genes are concomitantly suppressed in the most aggressive luminal malignancies. Importantly, these genes cooperatively regulate two major oncogenic pathways, RAS and NF-κB, through distinct domains, and when inactivated drive the metastasis of luminal tumors in vivo Finally, although the cooperative effects on RAS drive invasion, NF-κB activation triggers epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is required for metastasis. Collectively, these studies reveal important mechanistic insight into the pathogenesis of luminal B tumors and provide functionally relevant prognostic biomarkers that may guide treatment decisions. SIGNIFICANCE: The lack of insight into mechanisms that underlie the aggressive behavior of luminal B breast cancers impairs treatment decisions and therapeutic advances. Here, we show that two RasGAP tumor suppressors are concomitantly suppressed in aggressive luminal B tumors and demonstrate that they drive metastasis by activating RAS and NF-κB. Cancer Discov; 7(2); 202-17. ©2016 AACR.See related commentary by Sears and Gray, p. 131This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 115.