Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 promotes the growth of breast cancers by altering the phosphoproteome and augmenting EGFR/PI3K/AKT signalling.

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British journal of cancer


BACKGROUND: Increased expression of the progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) has been linked to multiple cancers, including breast cancer. Despite being a regulatory receptor and a potential therapeutic target, the oncogenic potential of PGRMC1 has not been studied.

METHODS: The impact of PGRMC1 on breast cancer growth and progression was studied following chemical inhibition and alteration of PGRMC1 expression, and evaluated by using online-based gene expression datasets of human breast cancer tissue. MTS, flow cytometry, qPCR, Western blotting, confocal microscopy and phosphoproteome analysis were performed.

RESULTS: We observed higher PGRMC1 levels in both ER-positive ZR-75-1 and TNBC MDA-MB-468 cells. Both chemical inhibition and silencing decreased cell proliferation, induced cell-cycle arrest, promoted apoptosis and reduced the migratory and invasive capabilities of ZR-75-1 and MDA-MB-468 cells. Further, phosphoproteome analysis demonstrated an overall decrease in activation of proteins involved in PI3K/AKT/mTOR and EGFR signalling pathways. In contrast, overexpression of PGRMC1 in non-malignant MCF10A cells resulted in increased cell proliferation, and enhanced activity of PI3K/AKT/mTOR and EGFR signalling pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that PGRMC1 plays a prominent role in regulating the growth of cancer cells by altering the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and EGFR signalling mechanisms in both ER-positive and TNBC cells.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children




Earle A. Chiles Research Institute