Chemotherapeutic response is critical for the successful treatment and good prognosis in cancer patients. In this study, we analysed the gene expression profiles of preoperative samples from oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer patients with different responses to taxane-anthracycline-based (TA-based) chemotherapy, and identified a group of genes that was predictive. Pregnancy specific beta-1-glycoprotein 1 (PSG1) played a central role within signalling pathways of these genes. Inhibiting PSG1 can effectively reduce chemoresistance via a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-related pathway in ER-negative breast cancer cells. Drug screening then identified dicumarol (DCM) to target the PSG1 and inhibit chemoresistance to TA-based chemotherapy in vitro, in vivo, and in clinical samples. Taken together, this study highlights PSG1 as an important mediator of chemoresistance, whose effect could be diminished by DCM.

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