Breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) is a tumor suppressor protein that functions to maintain genomic stability through critical roles in DNA repair, cell-cycle arrest, and transcriptional control. The androgen receptor (AR) is expressed in more than 70% of breast cancers and has been implicated in breast cancer pathogenesis. However, little is known about the role of BRCA1 in AR-mediated cell proliferation in human breast cancer. Here, we report that a high expression of AR in breast cancer patients was associated with shorter overall survival (OS) using a tissue microarray with 149 non-metastatic breast cancer patient samples. We reveal that overexpression of BRCA1 significantly inhibited expression of AR through activation of SIRT1 in breast cancer cells. Meanwhile, SIRT1 induction or treatment with a SIRT1 agonist, resveratrol, inhibits AR-stimulated proliferation. Importantly, this mechanism is manifested in breast cancer patient samples and TCGA database, which showed that low SIRT1 gene expression in tumor tissues compared with normal adjacent tissues predicts poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. Taken together, our findings suggest that BRCA1 attenuates AR-stimulated proliferation of breast cancer cells via SIRT1 mediated pathway.
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