FoxA1 as a lineage-specific oncogene in luminal type breast cancer

Noritaka Yamaguchi, Emi Ito, Sakura Azuma, Reiko Honma, Yuka Yanagisawa, Akira Nishikawa, Mika Kawamura, Jun ichi Imai, Kuniaki Tatsuta, Jun ichiro Inoue, Kentaro Semba*, Shinya Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The forkhead transcription factor FoxA1 is thought to be involved in mammary tumorigenesis. However, the precise role of FoxA1 in breast cancer development is controversial. We examined expression of FoxA1 in 35 human breast cancer cell lines and compared it with that of ErbB2, a marker of poor prognosis in breast cancer. We found that FoxA1 is expressed at high levels in all ErbB2-positive cell lines and a subset of ErbB2-negative cell lines. Down-regulation of FoxA1 by RNA interference significantly suppressed proliferation of ErbB2-negative and FoxA1-positive breast cancer cell lines. Down-regulation of FoxA1 also enhanced the toxic effect of Herceptin on ErbB2-positive cell lines through induction of apoptosis. Taken together with previous data that FoxA1 is a marker of luminal cells in mammary gland, our present results suggest that FoxA1 plays an important role as a lineage-specific oncogene in proliferation of cancer cells derived from mammary luminal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-717
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan 25


  • Breast cancer
  • ER
  • ErbB2
  • FoxA1
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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