Background: Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitors represent a significant advancement in the treatment of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer. However, mechanisms of alterations after acquired resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors and the optimal treatment options are still not established. Methods: Abemaciclib-resistant cell lines were established from the models of estrogen deprivation-resistant cell lines which retained ER expression and activated ER function derived from MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Ribocilib-resistant cell lines were established in the same method as previously reported. Results: Both abemaciclib- and ribociclib-resistant cell lines showed decreased ER expression. ER transcriptional activity was maintained in these cell lines; however, the sensitivity to 4-hydroxytamoxifen and fulvestrant was almost completely lost. These cell lines did not exhibit any ERα gene mutation. Abemaciclib-resistant cell lines demonstrated low sensitivity to other CDK4/6 inhibitors; sensitivities to PI3K inhibitor, mTOR inhibitor, and chemotherapeutic drugs were maintained. Conclusions: Dependence on ER signaling appears to decrease after the development of acquired resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors. Further, CDK4/6 inhibitor-resistant cells acquired cross-resistance to other CDK4/6 inhibitors, PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitor therapy and chemotherapeutic drugs might serve as optimal treatment options for such breast cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)