Estrogen and aryl hydrocarbon receptor expression and crosstalk in human Ishikawa endometrial cancer cells

Mark Wormke, Emely Castro-Rivera, Ichen Chen, Stephen Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Ishikawa endometrial cancer cells express the estrogen receptor (ER), and this study investigates aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) expression and inhibitory AhR-ER crosstalk in this cell line. Treatment of Ishikawa cells with the AhR agonist [3H]2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) gave a radiolabeled nuclear complex that sedimented at 6.0 S in sucrose density gradients, and Western blot analysis confirmed that Ishikawa cells expressed human AhR and AhR nuclear translocator (Arnt) proteins. Treatment of Ishikawa cells with 10 nM TCDD induced a 9.7-fold increase in CYP1A1-dependent ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity and a 10.5-fold increase in chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in cells transfected with pRNH11c containing an Ah-responsive human CYP1A1 gene promoter insert (-1142 to +2434). Inhibitory AhR-ER crosstalk was investigated in Ishikawa cells using E2-induced cell proliferation and transcriptional activation assays in cells transfected with E2-responsive constructs containing promoter inserts from the progesterone receptor and vitellogenin A2 genes. AhR agonists including TCDD, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and 6-methyl-1,3,8-trichlorodibenzofuran, inhibited 32-47% of the E2-induced responses. In contrast, neither estrogen nor progesterone inhibited EROD activity induced by TCDD in Ishikawa cells, whereas inhibitory ER-AhR crosstalk was observed in ECC-1 endometrial cells suggesting that these interactions were cell context-dependent. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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