Estrogen receptors alfa (ERα) and beta (ERβ) differentially regulate proliferation and apoptosis of the normal murine mammary epithelial cell line HC11

Luisa A. Helguero, Malin Hedengran Faulds, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Lars Arne Haldosén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mitogenic effect of 17β-estradiol (E2) on the breast is mediated by estrogen receptor alfa (ERα), hence ERα antagonists are effective in the treatment of breast cancer. The possible use of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) as a target in treatment of breast cancer is under investigation. The mouse mammary cell line HC11 expresses both ERs and was used to study the role of the two receptors in proliferation. E2 had no effect on proliferation. The ERα-selective agonist 4,4′,4″-(4-propyl-(1H)-pyrazole-1,3,5- triyl)trisphenol (PPT) stimulated proliferation. The ERβ-selective agonist 2,3-bis(4-hydroxy-phenyl)-propionitrile (DPN) inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis. PPT upregulated while DPN downregulated cyclin D1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Upon inhibition of ERα expression with RNA interference, E2 caused a decrease in cyclin D1 and PCNA, and increased apoptosis. When ERβ expression was blocked, E2 induced proliferation and cells gained the capacity to grow in soft agar. In summary, in HC11 mammary epithelial cells, ERα drives proliferation in response to E2 while ERβ is growth inhibitory. The lack of effect of E2 on HC11 cell growth is the result of the combined actions of ERα (proliferation) and ERβ (apoptosis). We suggest that use of ERβ agonists will be a useful addition in treatment of breast cancer, which, at present, is only aimed at inhibition of ERα.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6605-6616
Number of pages12
JournalOncogene
Volume24
Issue number44
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2005

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Estradiol
  • Estrogen receptor-selective ligands
  • Estrogen receptors
  • Mammary epithelial cells
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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