Author(s): Zhang Y, Zhao H, Asztalos S, Chisamore M, Sitabkhan Y,
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Abstract Several breast cancer tumor models respond to estradiol (E(2)) by undergoing apoptosis, a phenomenon known to occur in clinical breast cancer. Before the application of tamoxifen as an endocrine therapy, high-dose E(2) or diethystilbesterol treatment was successfully used, albeit with unfavorable side effects. It is now recognized that such an approach may be a potential endocrine therapy option. We have explored the mechanism of E(2)-induced tumor regression in our T47D:A18/PKCalpha tumor model that exhibits autonomous growth, tamoxifen resistance, and E(2)-induced tumor regression. Fulvestrant, a selective estrogen receptor (ER) down-regulator, prevents T47D:A18/PKCalpha E(2)-induced tumor growth inhibition and regression when given before or after tumor establishment, respectively. Interestingly, E(2)-induced growth inhibition is only observed in vivo or when cells are grown in Matrigel but not in two-dimensional tissue culture, suggesting the requirement of the extracellular matrix. Tumor regression is accompanied by increased expression of the proapoptotic FasL/FasL ligand proteins and down-regulation of the prosurvival Akt pathway. Inhibition of colony formation in Matrigel by E(2) is accompanied by increased expression of FasL and short hairpin RNA knockdown partially reverses colony formation inhibition. Classic estrogen-responsive element-regulated transcription of pS2, PR, transforming growth factor-alpha, C3, and cathepsin D is independent of the inhibitory effects of E(2). A membrane-impermeable E(2)-BSA conjugate is capable of mediating growth inhibition, suggesting the involvement of a plasma membrane ER. We conclude that E(2)-induced T47D:A18/PKCalpha tumor regression requires participation of ER-alpha, the extracellular matrix, FasL/FasL ligand, and Akt pathways, allowing the opportunity to explore new predictive markers and therapeutic targets.
This article was published in Mol Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy