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Estradiol (E2) and the oestrogen receptor-alpha (ERα) signalling pathway play pivotal roles in the proliferative activity of breast cancer cells. Recent findings show that the brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange protein 3-prohibitin 2 (BIG3-PHB2) complex plays a crucial role in E2/ERα signalling modulation in breast cancer cells. Moreover, specific inhibition of the BIG3-PHB2 interaction using the ERα activity-regulator synthetic peptide (ERAP: 165–177 amino acids), derived from α-helical BIG3 sequence, resulted in a significant anti-tumour effect. However, the duration of this effect was very short for viable clinical application. We developed the chemically modified ERAP using stapling methods (stapledERAP) to improve the duration of its antitumour effects. The stapledERAP specifically inhibited the BIG3-PHB2 interaction and exhibited long-lasting suppressive activity. Its intracellular localization without the membrane-permeable polyarginine sequence was possible via the formation of a stable α-helix structure by stapling. Tumour bearing-mice treated daily or weekly with stapledERAP effectively prevented the BIG3-PHB2 interaction, leading to complete regression of E2-dependent tumours in vivo. Most importantly, combination of stapledERAP with tamoxifen, fulvestrant, and everolimus caused synergistic inhibitory effects on growth of breast cancer cells. Our findings suggested that the stapled ERAP may be a promising anti-tumour drug to suppress luminal-type breast cancer growth.


  • Scientific Reports

    Scientific Reports (7), 1821, 2017-05-12

    Springer Nature


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