ERβ regulates NSCLC phenotypes by controlling oncogenic RAS signaling

Fotis Nikolos, Christoforos Thomas, Gayani Rajapaksa, Igor Bado, Jan Ak̊e Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. In addition to the aberrant growth factor signaling, dysregulation of other pathways, such as those mediated by estrogens and their receptors, has been linked to NSCLC initiation and progression. Although the expression of wild-type estrogen receptor β (ERβ1) has been associated with prolonged disease-free survival in patients with NSCLC, the molecular mechanism that accounts for this correlation is unknown. Here, upregulation of ERβ1 reduced proliferation and enhanced apoptosis in the context of mutant RAS. ERβ1 was found to induce apoptosis by stimulating the intrinsic apoptotic pathway that involves BIM, a Bcl-2 proapoptotic family member that is regulated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Downregulation of EGFR and inactivation of RAS and the downstream components ERK1/2 were found to be involved in the ERβ1-induced apoptosis. Manipulation of EGFR and RAS expression and activity in ERβ1-expressing cells revealed the central role of oncogenic RAS inhibition in the ERβ1-mediated proapoptotic phenotype and EGFR regulation. These results demonstrate that ERβ1 decreases the survival of NSCLC cells by regulating oncogenic RAS signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-854
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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