The epithelial-mesenchymal transition program becomes activated during malignant progression and can enrich for cancer stem cells (CSCs). We report that inhibition of protein kinase C α (PKCα) specifically targets CSCs but has little effect on non-CSCs. The formation of CSCs from non-stem cells involves a shift from EGFR to PDGFR signaling and results in the PKCα-dependent activation of FRA1. We identified an AP-1 molecular switch in which c-FOS and FRA1 are preferentially utilized in non-CSCs and CSCs, respectively. PKCα and FRA1 expression is associated with the aggressive triple-negative breast cancers, and the depletion of FRA1 results in a mesenchymal-epithelial transition. Hence, identifying molecular features that shift between cell states can be exploited to target signaling components critical to CSCs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Sep 9 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research