Publication Details

Indira Chandran, V., Eppenberger-Castori, S., Venkatesh, T., Vine, K. Lea. & Ranson, M. (2015). HER2 and uPAR cooperativity contribute to metastatic phenotype of HER2-positive breast cancer. Oncoscience, 2 (3), 207-224.


Human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-positive breast carcinoma is highly aggressive and mostly metastatic in nature though curable/manageable in part by molecular targeted therapy. Recent evidence suggests a subtype of cells within HER2-positive breast tumors that concomitantly expresses the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) with inherent stem cell/mesenchymal-like properties promoting tumor cell motility and a metastatic phenotype. This HER-positive/uPAR-positive subtype may be partially responsible for the failure of HER2-targeted treatment strategies. Herein we discuss and substantiate the cumulative preclinical and clinical evidence on HER2-uPAR cooperativity in terms of gene co-amplification and/or mRNA/protein co-overexpression. We then propose a regulatory signaling model that we hypothesize to maintain upregulation and cooperativity between HER2 and uPAR in aggressive breast cancer. An improved understanding of the HER2/uPAR interaction in breast cancer will provide critical biomolecular information that may help better predict disease course and response to therapy.