ORAI1 and ORAI3 in breast cancer molecular subtypes and the identification of ORAI3 as a hypoxia sensitive gene and a regulator of hypoxia responses
Azimi, I; Milevskiy, MJG; Chalmers, SB; Yapa, Ktds; Robitaille, M; Henry, C; Baillie, GJ; Thompson, EW; Roberts-Thomson, SJ; Monteith, GR
The remodeling of specific calcium-permeable ion channels is a feature of some breast cancer subtypes. ORAI1 is a protein that forms a calcium-permeable ion channel responsible for store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) in a variety of cell types. ORAI3, a related isoform, is not a regulator of SOCE in most cell types. However, ORAI3 does control SOCE in many estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell lines, where it also controls proliferation. ORAI1 is a well-characterized regulator of the proliferation and migration of many basal breast cancer cells; however, the role of ORAI3 in these types of breast cancer cells remains unclear. Here, we sought to define ORAI1 and ORAI3 expression in breast cancer cell lines of different molecular subtypes and assess the potential role and regulation of ORAI3 in basal breast cancer cells. Our study demonstrates that elevated ORAI1 is a feature of basal-like breast cancers, while elevated ORAI3 is a feature of luminal breast cancers. Intriguingly, we found that ORAI3 is over-expressed in the mesenchymal subtype of triple-negative breast cancer. Given this, we assessed ORAI3 levels in the presence of two inducers of the mesenchymal phenotype, hypoxia and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Hypoxia induced ORAI3 levels in basal breast cancer cell lines through a pathway involving hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF1alpha. The silencing of ORAI3 attenuated hypoxia-associated phosphorylation of the EGF receptor (EGFR) and the expression of genes associated with cell migration and inflammatory/immune responses in the MDA-MB-468 model of basal breast cancer. Although elevated ORAI3 levels were not associated with survival; basal, estrogen receptor-negative and triple-negative breast cancers with high ORAI3 and low ORAI1 levels were associated with poorer clinical outcomes. This study defines ORAI3 as a potential fine-tuner for processes relevant to the progression of basal breast cancers.