Identification and validation of novel ERBB2 (HER2, NEU) targets including genes involved in angiogenesis.
V-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2 (ERBB2; synonyms HER2, NEU) encodes a transmembrane glycoprotein with tyrosine kinase-specific activity that acts as a major switch in different signal-transduction processes. ERBB2 amplification and overexpression have been found in a number of human cancers, including breast, ovary and kidney carcinoma. Our aim was to detect ERBB2-regulated target genes that contribute to its tumorigenic effect on a genomewide scale. The differential gene expression profile of ERBB2-transfected and wild-type mouse fibroblasts was monitored employing DNA microarrays. Regulated expression of selected genes was verified by RT-PCR and validated by Western blot analysis. Genome wide gene expression profiling identified (i) known targets of ERBB2 signaling, (ii) genes implicated in tumorigenesis but so far not associated with ERBB2 signaling as well as (iii) genes not yet associated with oncogenic transformation, including novel genes without functional annotation. We also found that at least a fraction of coexpressed genes are closely linked on the genome. ERBB2 overexpression suppresses the transcription of antiangiogenic factors (e.g., Sparc, Timp3, Serpinf1) but induces expression of angiogenic factors (e.g., Klf5, Tnfaip2, Sema3c). Profiling of ERBB2-dependent gene regulation revealed a compendium of potential diagnostic markers and putative therapeutic targets. Identification of coexpressed genes that colocalize in the genome may indicate gene regulatory mechanisms that require further study to evaluate functional coregulation. (Supplementary material for this article can be found on the International Journal of Cancer website at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0020-7136/suppmat/index.html.)