We have recently coupled overexpression of FER kinase (FER) to metastasis in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). FER controls integrin recycling and the regulation of anchorage-independence, leading to a complete ablation of tumor cell dissemination upon inactivation of FER in breast cancer cells.
Since there are currently no kinase inhibitors available to target FER, we are pursuing the search for functional FER substrates and drugs that inhibit FER.
FER controls invasiveness in TNBC. (A) FER was silenced in MDA-MB-231 and SUM149PT cells (2D; left panels) and in MDA-MB-231 in 3D (right panel).F-actin was stained using phalloidin. Note the dramatic phenotypic change upon FER knock down. (B) FER silencing inhibits tumor growth in mice. FER was silenced in MDA-MB-231 cell in recipient mice after initial tumor growth using doxycyclin (arrow; dox).