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Nanolipoprotein mediated Her2 protein transfection induces malignant transformation in human breast acinar cultures

By Wei A He, Angela C Evans, Matthew Coleman, Claire Robertson

Posted 25 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.25.265512

Her2 overexpression is associated with an aggressive form of breast cancer and malignant transformation. We sought to determine if a nano-carrier system could introduce Her2 protein to non-malignant cells and determine the effects on cell phenotype and transcriptome. With stimulation with Her2-NLPs, we observed uptake of Her2 protein and a decreased probability of individual non-malignant cells forming polar growth arrested acinar-like structures. The NLP delivery system alone or Her2-NLPs plus trastuzumab showed no effect on acinar organization rate. Transcriptomics revealed essentially no effect of empty NLPs versus untreated cells whereas Her2-NLPs versus either untreated or empty NLP treated cells revealed upregulation of several factors associated with breast cancer. Pathway analysis also suggested that known nodes downstream of Her2 were activated in response to Her2-NLP treatment. This suggests that Her2-NLPs are sufficient for malignant transformation of non-malignant cells and that this system offers a new model for studying cell surface receptor signaling without genomic modification or transformation techniques. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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