Estrogen receptor mutations and functional consequences for breast cancer

Christoforos Thomas, Jan-Ake Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A significant number of estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive breast tumors develop resistance to endocrine therapy and recur with metastatic disease. Several mechanisms of endocrine resistance have been proposed, including genetic alterations that lead to ERs with altered protein sequence. By altering the conformation of the protein and increasing the interaction with coactivators, point mutations in ESR1, the gene encoding ERα, promote an active form of the receptor in the absence of hormone that assists tumor cells to evade hormonal treatments. Recent studies have confirmed that ESR1 point mutations frequently occur in metastatic breast tumors that are refractory to endocrine therapy, and suggest the development of novel strategies that may be more effective in controlling ER signaling and benefit patients with recurrent and metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Endocrine therapy
  • Estrogen receptor mutations
  • Metastasis
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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