The 3D genomic landscape of differential response to EGFR/HER2 inhibition in endocrine-resistant breast cancer cells

Yini Yang, Lavanya Choppavarapu, Kun Fang, Alireza S. Naeini, Bakhtiyor Nosirov, Jingwei Li, Ke Yang, Zhijing He, Yufan Zhou, Rachel Schiff, Rong Li, Yanfen Hu, Junbai Wang*, Victor X. Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent studies suggested that crosstalk between ERα and EGFR/HER2 pathways plays a critical role in mediating endocrine therapy resistance. Several inhibitors targeting EGFR/HER2 signaling, including FDA-approved lapatinib and gefitinib as well as a novel dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sapitinib, showed greater therapeutic efficacies. However, how 3D chromatin landscape responds to the inhibition of EGFR/HER2 pathway remains to be elucidated. Methods: In this study, we conducted in situ Hi-C and RNA-seq in two ERα+ breast cancer cell systems, 1) parental MCF7 cells and its associated tamoxifen-resistant MCF7TR cells; and 2) parental T47D cells and its associated tamoxifen-resistant T47DTR cells, before and after the treatment of sapitinib. Results: We identified differential responses in topologically associated domains (TADs), looping genes and expressed genes. Interestingly, we found that many differential TADs and looping genes are reversible after sapitinib treatment, indicating that EGFR/HER2 signaling may play a role in reshaping and rewiring the high order genome organization. We further examined and recapitulated the reversible looping genes in 3D spheroids of breast cancer cells, demonstrating that 3D cell culture spheroid of breast cancer cells could be a potential preclinical breast cancer model for studying 3D chromatin regulation. Conclusions: Our study has provided significant insights into our understanding of 3D genomic landscape changes in response to EGFR/HER2 Inhibition in endocrine-resistant breast cancer cells. Our data provides a rich resource for further evaluating chromatin structural responses to EGFR/HER2 targeted therapies in endocrine-resistant breast cancer cells. Our analyses suggest that these alterations of chromatin structures and transcriptional programs may provide new avenues for intervention or designing of patient selection for targeted endocrine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194631
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Altered domains
  • EGFR/HER2 inhibitor
  • Reversible gene looping
  • Tamoxifen resistant breast cancer


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