Estrogen regulation of transferrin gene expression in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells

C. Vyhlidal, X. Li, S. Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Transferrin (Tf) is an iron transport protein expressed in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. In nuclear run-on assays, 17β-estradiol (E2) increased the rate of Tf gene expression approximately 3-fold within 1 h after treatment and reporter gene activity was also induced in MCF-7 cells transfected with a construct containing a -3600 to +39 Tf gene promoter insert. Deletion and mutation analysis identified an E2-responsive promoter region between -811 and -762, which was GC-rich (80%) and contained two nonconsensus estrogen response elements (EREs). E2-responsiveness of this region was associated with a GGACA(N)3TGGCC motif (-803 to -791) which bound human estrogen receptor α (hERα) in gel mobility shift assays. In Drosophila Schneider SL-2 cells, the -811 to -752 was E2-responsive after cotransfection with hERα expression plasmid plus E2, whereas Sp1 protein did not induce transactivation. These studies confirm that E2 induces Tf gene expression through a nonconsensus distal ERE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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