Liver X Receptor Ligand GAC0001E5 Downregulates Antioxidant Capacity and ERBB2/HER2 Expression in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Cells


The HER2-positive subtype accounts for approximately one-fifth of all breast cancers. Insensitivity and development of acquired resistance to targeted therapies in some patients contribute to their poor prognosis. HER2 overexpression is associated with metabolic reprogramming, facilitating cancer cell growth and survival. Novel liver X receptor (LXR) ligand GAC0001E5 (1E5) has been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation by disrupting glutaminolysis and inducing oxidative stress. In this study, HER2-positive breast cancer cells were treated with 1E5 to determine their potential inhibitory effects and mechanisms of action in HER2-positive breast cancers. Similar to previous observations in other cancer types, 1E5 treatments inhibited LXR activity, expression, and cancer cell proliferation. Expression of fatty acid synthesis genes, including fatty acid synthase (FASN), was downregulated following 1E5 treatment, and results from co-treatment experiments with an FASN inhibitor suggest that the same pathway is targeted by 1E5. Treatments with 1E5 disrupted glutaminolysis and resulted in increased oxidative stress. Strikingly, HER2 transcript and protein levels were both significantly downregulated by 1E5. Taken together, these findings indicate the therapeutic potential of targeting HER2 overexpression and associated metabolic reprogramming via the modulation of LXR in HER2-positive breast cancers.




Cancers 16 (9): 1651 (2024)