NBCn1 and NHE1 expression and activity in DeltaNErbB2 receptor-expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells: contributions to pHi regulation and chemotherapy resistance

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Altered pH-regulatory ion transport is characteristic of many cancers; however, the mechanisms and consequences are poorly understood. Here, we investigate how a truncated, constitutively active ErbB2 receptor (DeltaNErbB2) common in breast cancer impacts on the Na(+)/H(+)-exchanger NHE1 and the Na(+),HCO(3)(-)-cotransporter NBCn1 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and address the roles of these transporters in chemotherapy resistance. Upon DeltaNErbB2 expression, mRNA and protein levels of NBCn1, yet not of NHE1, increased several-fold, and the localization of both transporters was altered paralleling extensive morphological changes. The rate of pH(i) recovery after acid loading increased by 50% upon DeltaNErbB2 expression. Knockdown and pharmacological inhibition confirmed the involvement of both NHE1 and NBCn1 in acid extrusion. NHE1 inhibition or knockdown sensitized DeltaNErbB2-expressing cells to cisplatin-induced programmed cell death (PCD) in a caspase-, cathepsin-, and reactive oxygen species-dependent manner. NHE1 inhibition augmented cisplatin-induced caspase activity and lysosomal membrane permeability followed by cysteine cathepsin release. In contrast, NBCn1 inhibition attenuated cathepsin release and had no net effect on viability. These findings warrant studies of NHE1 as a potential target in breast cancer and demonstrate that in spite of their similar transport functions, NHE1 and NBCn1 serve different functions in MCF-7 cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)2538-53
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2010

    Research areas

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium, Antineoplastic Agents, Biological Transport, Breast Neoplasms, Cathepsins, Cation Transport Proteins, Cell Line, Tumor, Drug Resistance, Neoplasm, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Intracellular Membranes, Mutant Proteins, Protein Structure, Tertiary, RNA, Small Interfering, Receptor, erbB-2, Sodium-Bicarbonate Symporters, Sodium-Hydrogen Antiporter

ID: 33345577