EFA6B regulates a stop signal for collective invasion in breast cancer.
Cancer is initiated by somatic mutations in oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. However, additional alterations provide selective advantages to the tumor cells to resist treatment and develop metastases. Their identification is of paramount importance. Reduced expression of EFA6B (Exchange Factor for ARF6, B) is associated with breast cancer of poor prognosis. Here, we report that loss of EFA6B triggers a transcriptional reprogramming of the cell-to-ECM interaction machinery and unleashes CDC42-dependent collective invasion in collagen. In xenograft experiments, MCF10 DCIS.com cells, a DCIS-to-IDC transition model, invades faster when knocked-out for EFA6B. In addition, invasive and metastatic tumors isolated from patients have lower expression of EFA6B and display gene ontology signatures identical to those of EFA6B knock-out cells. Thus, we reveal an EFA6B-regulated molecular mechanism that controls the invasive potential of mammary cells; this finding opens up avenues for the treatment of invasive breast cancer.