Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25881002
Nat Commun 2015;6:6886
ATM kinase preserves genomic stability by acting as a tumour suppressor. However, its identification as a component of several signalling networks suggests a dualism for ATM in cancer. Here we report that ATM expression and activity promotes HER2-dependent tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo. We reveal a correlation between ATM activation and the reduced time to recurrence in patients diagnosed with invasive HER2-positive breast cancer. Furthermore, we identify ATM as a novel modulator of HER2 protein stability that acts by promoting a complex of HER2 with the chaperone HSP90, therefore preventing HER2 ubiquitination and degradation. As a consequence, ATM sustains AKT activation downstream of HER2 and may modulate the response to therapeutic approaches, suggesting that the status of ATM activity may be informative for the treatment and prognosis of HER2-positive tumours. Our findings provide evidence for ATM’s tumorigenic potential revising the canonical role of ATM as a pure tumour suppressor.