Overexpression of the EVI1 oncogene is associated typically with aggressive myeloid leukemia, but is also detectable in breast carcinoma where its contributions are unexplored. Analyzing a tissue microarray of 608 breast carcinoma patient specimens, we documented EVI1 overexpression in both estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor–negative (ER−) breast carcinomas. Here, we report prognostic relevance of EVI1 overexpression in triple-negative breast carcinoma but not in the HER2-positive breast carcinoma subset. In human breast cancer cells, EVI1 silencing reduced proliferation, apoptosis resistance, and tumorigenicity, effects rescued by estrogen supplementation in ER+ breast carcinoma cells. Estrogen addition restored ERK phosphorylation in EVI1-silenced cells, suggesting that EVI1 and estradiol signaling merge in MAPK activation. Conversely, EVI1 silencing had no effect on constitutive ERK activity in HER2+ breast carcinoma cells. Microarray analyses revealed G-protein–coupled receptor (GPR) signaling as a prominent EVI1 effector mechanism in breast carcinoma. Among others, the GPR54-ligand KISS1 was identified as a direct transcriptional target of EVI1, which together with other EVI1-dependent cell motility factors such as RHOJ regulated breast carcinoma cell migration. Overall, our results establish the oncogenic contributions of EVI1 in ER- and HER2-negative subsets of breast cancer. Cancer Res; 77(8); 2148–60. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received March 1, 2016.
- Revision received November 29, 2016.
- Accepted January 8, 2017.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.