The lipid raft-resident protein, MAL2, has been implicated as contributing to the pathogenesis of several malignancies, including breast cancer, but the underlying mechanism for its effects on tumorigenesis is unknown. Here, we show that MAL2-mediated lipid raft formation leads to HER2 plasma membrane retention and enhanced HER2 signaling in breast cancer cells. We demonstrate physical interactions between HER2 and MAL2 in lipid rafts using proximity ligation assays. Super-resolution structured illumination microscopy imaging displays the structural organization of the HER2/Ezrin/NHERF1/PMCA2 protein complex. Formation of this protein complex maintains low intracellular calcium concentrations in the vicinity of the plasma membrane. HER2/MAL2 protein interactions in lipid rafts are enhanced in trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells. Our findings suggest that MAL2 is crucial for lipid raft formation, HER2 signaling, and HER2 membrane stability in breast cancer cells, suggesting MAL2 as a potential therapeutic target.
- lipid rafts
- membrane protrusions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)