Author(s): Jeffy BD, Hockings JK, Kemp MQ, Morgan SS, Hager JA,
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Abstract One of the puzzles in cancer predisposition is that women carrying BRCA-1 mutations preferentially develop tumors in epithelial tissues of the breast and ovary. Moreover, sporadic breast tumors contain lower levels of BRCA-1 in the absence of mutations in the BRCA-1 gene. The problem of tissue specificity requires analysis of factors that are unique to tissues of the breast. For example, the expression of estrogen receptor-alpha (ER alpha) is inversely correlated with breast cancer risk, and 90\% of BRCA-1 tumors are negative for ER alpha. Here, we show that estrogen stimulates BRCA-1 promoter activity in transfected cells and the recruitment of ER alpha and its cofactor p300 to an AP-1 site that binds Jun/Fos transcription factors. The recruitment of ER alpha/p300 coincides with accumulation in the S-phase of the cell cycle and is antagonized by the antiestrogen tamoxifen. Conversely, we document that overexpression of wild-type p53 prevents the recruitment of ER alpha to the AP-1 site and represses BRCA-1 promoter activity. Taken together, our findings support a model in which an ER alpha/AP-1 complex modulates BRCA-1 transcription under conditions of estrogen stimulation. Conversely, the formation of this transcription complex is abrogated in cells overexpressing p53.
This article was published in Neoplasia
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine